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Pioneering Nevada family’s heirloom donated to museum

Nevada Appeal

A well-traveled heirloom of a longtime Nevada family has found a permanent home.

Luetta Dressler Bergevin, great-great granddaughter of pioneer Carson Valley rancher Augustus Frederick Dressler, has donated a trunk believed to date back the early 1800s to the Nevada State Museum in Carson City.

In 1866, the trunk sailed from Germany to California and then was taken by wagon to the Carson Valley. Augusta Wilhelmina Dietz stowed her possessions in the trunk as she traveled to the Carson Valley to marry Dressler.

“We had a skilled carpenter and an antique specialist look at it and they were impressed both by the craftsmanship and the condition,” said Sue Ann Monteleone, the museum’s registrar.

The trunk is bound with iron straps and features two hand-painted images of knights on the front, which experts believe represent a pair of family crests,

Bergevin, 86, the widow of seven-term Assemblyman Lou Bergevin of Gardnerville, said the trunk had been sitting in storage for many years and she’s glad it will go on display at the museum.


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