Minden Centennial Quilt
The Minden Centennial 1909-2006
As early as 1876, the Virginia & Truckee Railway had been in some form of negotiations with the H. F. Dangberg Land and Live Stock Company for a branch line right of way through Carson Valley. Finally, in 1905, H. F. Dangberg, Jr. provided the driving force needed to close the negotiations between the two entities. The Dangberg Company provided the right of way property and the V&T agreed to build their Carson Valley Terminal on Dangberg land. The following year, the town of Minden was built to support the business generated by this branch line. The name was chosen in honor the Westphalia, Germany town of Minden that was located near the birthplace of H. F. Dangberg, Sr. Minden was carefully platted in 1905, with business facing Esmeralda Street. The cast end of Esmeralda Street terminated at the train depot. The homes of the residents, built around the tree lined town squared, were built at the western end of Esmeralda Street. By July 2, 1906, the Nevada town of Minden was formally established.
In anticipation of its upcoming centennial celebration, the Town of Minden asked Diane Callahan to select a group of local women, some new to Carson Valley, some with roots in the Valley going back several generations, to construct a quilt to commemorate Minden’s first 100 years. Each woman selected one of Minden’s historical sites and created a block to highlight its place in Minden’s history. The quilt top was assembled by Cecile Brown, Linda Graeber and Diane Callahan and quilted by Angela McClelland.
· MINDEN PARK AND BANDSTAND—(Shelia Byington) - The town square was included as an integral part of Minden when the town was first designed. William Dangberg was responsible for creating the park, planting a large field of grass surrounded by Carolina poplars. A flagpole topped by the American flag has been a fixture of the park since its earliest years. The first permanent bandstand was built about 1917 and was in use until 1983. The Minden Rotary Club provided oversight of the planning and construction of a new brick bandstand designed by Peter Wilday and completed in 1984. The new bandstand was dedicated to Rotarian rancher Wilton Neddenriep and all Rotarians, past and present.
· MINDEN FLOUR MILLING COMPANY—(Sherry Truenow) - This was the first business built in the new town of Minden. The building was finished in April 1906 and ready to grind several months prior to the completion of the laying of the V & T track.
· VIRGINA AND TRUCKEE RAILWAY DEPOT—(Linda Graeber) - The Depot was built and completed in June 1906. It was demolished a number of years ago and a local restaurant, Jimmy G’s Café, now sits in its old site.
· THE HEIDELBERG—(Patricia Biersdorff) - A bar built in 1909 by Fritz Dangberg to provide a meeting place for local businessmen and visitors. The building, now called Francisco’s Mexican Restaurant, is still utilized today as a bar/restaurant.
· FARMER’S BANK OF CARSON VALLEY/MINDEN POST OFFICE—(Cecile Brown) - The Farmer’s Bank of Carson Valley opened for business in 1909. In 1918, the banking business moved to a new building across the street and this building was converted into the Minden Post Office. This facility was in use as a post office from 1919-1974. It is now a local business called The Bank Parlor and Pub.
· LIVERY STABLE—(Marlena Hellwinkel) - This building, constructed by the Dangberg Company, started its existence as a livery stable in 1909. During its life time, it housed a dairy, several garages, a Nash and Ajax dealership, a Ford dealership, a farm labor office, office space for the Navy Reserve Electronic Warfare Platoon and, finally, a storage area owned by the C.O.D. Garage Company. It was razed in 2003 and is currently a vacant lot.
· MINDEN DRYGOODS COMPANY—(Cathy Colquhoun) - This business was created in 1910 by Chris Christoffersen. He sold clothing, shoes, cameras, and other supplies needed by area residents. The building continued as a dry goods store through several lessees until it was finally sold to the C.O.D. Garage Company in 1967. A clothing store opened in the building in 1968. In 1975, the C.O.D. Garage Company opened Pioneer Auto Parts in the building.
· FOUNDERS BLOCK—(Sherry Darling) - The photograph in the corner of the block is of H. F. Dangberg, Jr., who provided the push that provided the right of way to the V & T and sparked the creation of Minden. Two cement columns constructed in 1911 as part of the first Carson Valley Days celebration, marked the entrance into Minden at the intersection of 6th Street and County Road. This was the main artery into town prior to the construction of Highway 395. The date 1905 is incised on the front of each column although the town was not formally founded until 1906. The columns are now stucco covered and topped by electric globe lights.
· C.O.D. GARAGE – (Sally Lopeman) - Clarence Oliver Dangberg used his initials to name his business that fronted on what is now Highway 395. When it opened in May 1912, it was a Buick dealership and was fitted with the latest in automotive repair machinery. In 1919, the business became incorporated, including Fred Hellwinkel as a full partner. In 1938, Fred Hellwinkel became the sole owner and operated the growing business with his sons Don and Dan.
· C.V.I.C.—(Mary Wheeler) - In May 1912, leading citizens of Minden decided to form the Carson Valley Improvement Club. Subscriptions were sold to enable the construction of a large two story brick building equipped with meeting rooms and a complete gym. In November 1912, the building was opened to the public. Over the years, it has been used by the community as a theater, a place for dances, a grammar school gym and general all around community center for Carson Valley. The Fortnightly Club provided for the upkeep of the building and is instrumental in insuring the building is maintained and protected. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
· DOUGLAS COUNTY COURTHOUSE—(Jill Harper) - When the Nevada Senate passed a bill in 1915 moving the Douglas County from Genoa to Minden, Reno architect F. J. DeLongechamps was contracted to design the new county court house. Construction was completed in 1916. The building also housed the Minden Jail and provided office space for the county sheriff. Over the years, additions have been added and refurbishments made. The court and jail facilities have moved but the building is still providing office space for Douglas County government.
· THE MINDEN INN—(Donna Allgeier) - Christened the “St. Francis Hotel of Nevada” because of its elegance, this Delongechamps designed hotel opened its doors in 1917 to throngs of visitors. The Dangberg Land and Live Stock Company operated the Inn for almost seven years before selling it in the 1923. During WWII, the third floor was utilized by Army Air Cadets. In 1945, parts of the hotel were used as a hospital facility. The Minden Inn ceased operation as a hotel in 1986 and now provides office space for Douglas County.
· FARMER’S BAK OF CARSON VALLEY—(Merry Kay Strohm) - The second bank building built in Minden was designed by F. J. Delongechamps of Reno and completed in 1918. The bank occupied the lower floor. The upper floor consisted of 15 office spaces. By 1928, the bank has resources of over $1 million. By 1968, the bank had outgrown its space and a new facility was built on another lot.
· MINDEN GRAMMER SCHOOL—(Janelle Wilks) - In 1917, the Carson Valley area schools became part of a consolidated school district. Construction of a consolidated school was started and it opened in August 1918. In 1980, the building was converted into office space for the school district.
· MINDEN MERCANTILE COMPANY—(Diane Callahan) - Built in 1926 by William Rood and William Heitman, the “Merc” provided hardware, appliances, toys, groceries, ice cream and tractors through the years for local ranchers and their families. It housed the first public restroom in town when it first opened.
· COVENTRY CROSS EPISCOPAL CHURCH—(Delia Meyer) - This church building was moved from Smith Valley in 1954 and was the first church established in Minden.
Written by Sherry Darling utilizing background material from Wynne M. Maule, Grace M. Dangberg and the Douglas County Historical Society.