Come Visit with History
The Home Ranch
Heinrich Friedrich Dangberg was only eighteen when he came to America in 1848. He came west in 1853, where he built a log cabin, cleared and irrigated his claim, and married Margaret Ferris, the daughter of a notable American family. A self-made man, his hard work, foresight, and leadership lead to prosperity and influence. The cabin grew into a house as Heinrich and Maggie raised five children who eventually inherited one of the largest ranches in western Nevada. In 1902, the family formed the Dangberg Land & Live Stock Co. and over the next few decades the ranch expanded to almost 50,000 acres supporting cattle and sheep, vegetable crops and other products. In 1905, the family founded the town of Minden and there, by themselves or in partnership with others, established several businesses focused on agriculture, banking, and a hotel. Today, the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park preserves this fascinating chapter in Nevada’s history. Nevada’s elite once passed through the doors of the Dangberg Home Ranch, and now you’re invited to visit, too.
The ranch house and stone cellar, with majestic Jobs Peak in the background, ca. 1910.
Four generations of Dangbergs lived at the Home Ranch, and they each help in understanding the changes that occur in the histories of American ranching families. They also left a fascinating collection of artifacts, photographs and documents dating from the early 19th century all the way to 1990. Many of these connect with daily life in Carson Valley, and many others show the family’s private lives.
Everyone’s invited to drop by for a visit. The Home Ranch is a public, county-owned park at 1450 NV-SR 88. The buildings are closed without prior announcement if wet or other conditions require. The park’s grounds are open for public enjoyment every day, sunrise to sunset (overnight use is prohibited). Picnic tables are available, as is a horseshoe pit (bring your own horseshoes). There is no fee, but a donation is requested (just leave some magic in any donation box, please). The park is surrounded by a private cattle ranch, so please proceed all the way to the gated and signed public park before leaving your vehicle.
The Dangberg ranch house, built between 1857 and 1917, is the park’s highlight, and visitors have two options for seeing inside.
The first option is a guided tour available by advance reservation, Wednesdays through Sundays at 10:30 am. Participants see the entire main level of the ranch house with the help of an expert guide. The tour lasts about one hour and costs $10/person for 17 and older. There is no charge for youth ages 8-16, but children younger than eight are not permitted on the tour. Friends of Dangberg members pay nothing for the tour. Reservations can be made by calling 775-783-9417. Group size for this tour is limited to eight people. Larger groups can inquire about special options.
The second visitor option is an afternoon open house, when all ages are welcome to drop by unannounced to see inside a limited portion of the ranch house, Tuesdays through Sundays, 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The experience is self-guided, but volunteer docents and staff are available to answer questions and assist visitors. Reservations are not needed. There is no admission fee for the afternoon open house, but we hope that visitors make a donation of their choice to support the continued the park’s continued care. Donations enable programming, maintenance, and the preservation of historic buildings and structures.
Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park is occasionally closed for a private function or we’re having an event that requires a ticket. Otherwise, the park is a public park owned by the local county and is open during daylight hours seven days a week. Several buildings are always open when staffed, usually Tuesdays through Sundays. If the gate is shut, that’s because there are cattle in the pasture–just open the gate, park inside the fence, and leave the gate how you found it. The access road from the highway crosses private land, so parking along the road is not permitted. The 1875 barn, corral and deteriorating brick slaughterhouse (danger!) are also on private land. Please do not trespass.
Tour Groups: Bus tours and other large groups are welcome! We have a special program and pricing available for you, and the park’s large tent and picnic tables make for an excellent lunch stop. We can refer you to catering and other services, including a Chautauqua appearance by an historic figure. Just contact us for more information and to reserve a date.
Amenities The park is undeveloped, but toilets and picnic tables are available. Sidewalks are limited and the ground can be muddy in wet weather. Non-motorized wheelchairs are permitted inside the ranch house, but motorized wheelchairs are prohibited due to weight restrictions and limited turning areas.
Other Buildings You can also see inside the “stone cellar” (built 1870), laundry house (1906), and carriage house (built 1917). The park’s store is in the garage by the garden, with a selection of jewelry, gifts, souvenirs, and books on Nevada history.
Picnicking and Recreation Bring a picnic and enjoy the views of the Carson Range and majestic Jobs Peak from the park’s back lawn. There’s plenty of space for games.
Pets Pets must be leashed at all times and pet owners are responsible for cleanup. Pets are not allowed during special events (such as concerts, Chautauqua, speakers, etc.), with the exception of certified service animals.
Photography The historic buildings and the views of Carson Valley and the Sierra Nevada create many opportunities for great images. Professional photographers should contact us to talk about our policies and permitting requirements.
Location The park is located at 1450 Highway 88, just west of Minden, NV. The entrance is about ¾ mile south of the roundabout at the intersection of County Road with Highway 88.
Carson Valley Visitors Authority
South Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Carson City Visitors Authority