%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
People & Life Ways
Riches, Ranching & Railroads
(1850-1900)

Kultur in Nevada (German)

Click the phonograph to hear the passage in German.
 
 

German migrants were early travelers to Nevada.  Jacob Primer Leese and William Wolfskill had crossed southern Nevada along the Old Spanish Trail by 1831.  Nicholas Ambrosia, also known as "Dutch Nick", was an immigrant from Prussia, a saloon keeper and landowner in Nevada in 1855.
Early German settlers to Nevada worked at a variety of jobs.  Many who settled in the Carson Valley, in western Nevada, worked at farming and ranching.  They worked hard to buy and develop their land.  A German proverb warned, "If I rest, I rust."  Many of the German settlers to Nevada had little time to rest.

The German immigrants brought parts of their homeland with them in the form of language and culture.  They celebrated that "kultur" when they began to gather in 1903 for a Schützenfest, a traditional German festival.  They danced all night, held shooting contests, and ate a huge meal at midnight.

The language was also a part of German "kultur."  The Lutheran church in Carson Valley held church services once a month in German.  An announcement in the local newspaper in 1909 informed readers: "Being the first Sunday of the month, German service will be held at the Lutheran church next Sunday at 10:45 o'clock.  Sermon: Von Der Sueenkronkhit."

With the coming of the First World War in 1917, there was concern about divided loyalties among Americans of German descent.  Many Germans discarded German "kultur" to make it clear to friends and neighbors that they were loyal Americans.  German-Americans registered for the draft, the Lutheran church stopped holding services in German, and a celebration in Carson Valley, marking the end of the war, was led by William Dangberg, a veteran of the Franco-Prussian War.  The German-Americans went on with their lives, continuing as a part of the diversity of culture in Nevada.
 

Reader: Hans Rollenhagan
 

Photo Credit:
Nevada Historical Society