In addition to Mary Ann Davis presenting this coming Thursday night, we are privileged in adding Chris Enns to the line-up for a Speaker Night "Double Feature"....so to speak! Not to worry, refreshments will start at 8:00 PM as usual!
The Widowed Ones: Beyond the Battle of the Little Bighorn by Chris Enns
There weren’t many women in the late 1800s who had the opportunity to accompany their husbands on adventures that were so exciting they seemed fictitious. Such was the case for the women married to the officers in General George Armstrong Custer’s Seventh Cavalry. There were seven officers’ wives. They were all good friends who traveled from post to post with one another along with their spouses. Of the seven widows, Elizabeth Custer was the most well-known. As the wife of the commanding officer, Libbie felt it was her duty to be present when the officer’s wives at Fort Lincoln were told their husbands had been killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
The women were overwhelmed with letters of condolence. Most people were sincere in their expressions of sorrow over the widows’ loss. Others were ghoulish souvenir hunters requesting articles of their husbands’ clothing and personal weapons as keepsakes. The press was preoccupied with how the wives of the deceased officers were handling their grief. During the first year after the tragic event, reporters sought them out to learn how they were coping, what plans they had for the future, and what, if anything, they knew about the battle itself. The widows were able to soldier through the scrutiny because they had one another. They confided in each other, cried without apologizing, and discussed their desperate financial situations.
The friendship the bereaved widows had with one another proved to be a critical source of support. The transition from being officers’ wives living at various forts on the wild frontier to being single women with homes of their own was a difficult adjustment. Without one another to depend upon, the time might have been more of a struggle. The Widowed Ones: Beyond the Battle of the Little Bighorn tells the stories of these women and the unique bond they shared through never-before-seen materials from the Elizabeth Custer Library and Museum at Garryowen, Montana, including letters to and from politicians and military leaders to the widows, fellow soldiers and critics of George Custer to the widows, and letters between the widows themselves about when the women first met, the men they married, and their attempts to persevere after the tragedy.
Nevada County Wine, by Mary Anne Davis
This book, complete with lots of photographs and illustrations, shares the story of Nevada County's tumultuous wine history that includes several booms and busts, starting in the 1850's when gold prospectors brought the first grapevines in their saddlebags. Economic downturns, prohibition and war all tried to kill the fledgling wine industry, but it hung on thanks to gentleman farmers and members of the mining industry who supplied a thirsty clientele. Today, although the mines have gone quiet, wineries are thriving in the hills of the Gold Country, and the pioneering spirit lives on in their distinctive vintages and growing techniques.
Mary Anne's book touches on many historical moments that influenced our local wine industry, including the importance of agriculture and Felix Gillet, as well as the railroad and the gold mines. A section of the book focuses on our local wineries, and telling their stories.
When: Thursday August 18th at 7:00 PM.
Where: The Sierra Presbyterian Church located at 175 Ridge Road, Nevada City.
Admission: FREE and open to the public, this event last one hour. Free refreshments offered after the presentation.
Please bring a mask to wear when not partaking of the refreshments!