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Speaker Night Features Author and Levi Company Historian

A chance to hear about life on a dude ranch back in the day and why people chose to experience the lifestyle of cowboying as an alternate vacation came into fashion in the United States. The Nevada County Historical Society is hosting author and former historian for Levi Srauss & Company Lynn Downey Thursday evening. Lynn will be speaking about her 2022 release, American Dude Ranch: A Touch of the Cowboy and the Thrill of the West.


Downey says one of the points of interest is how important woman were for a successful dude ranch. Often, they were referred to as a “Dude Ranch Wife”.


But in reality, women did whatever it took including leading trail rides and other strenuous jobs.


Dude ranches got their start in the latter 1800s as hunting lodges for rich easterners and eventually began to transition to vacation destinations in the 1930’s. Levi Strauss capitalized on the Dude Ranch industry…and that’s what caught Lynn’s interest on the subject while she was historian.


From there she began researching more and collecting memorabilia and eventually decided to right her first book Dudes Rush In.
To help pique interest… Downey shares an interesting story about Levis jeans she also found in the archives.
Downey tells of a man that was driving a car in 1938 and broke down. A friend stopped to help but did not have enough rope to tow the car, but he did have something he could try.


Lynn Downey is speaking Thursday evening beginning at 7:00 at Sierra Presbyterian Church on Ridge Road.

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