Peak Back: Frieda Godecke 1900-1980

Periodically we proudly look back to honor the women that shaped Carson Valley into the legendary destination that it is now. With some help from the Douglas County Historical Society and their Van Sickle Research Library, we are happy to bring you their stories. From pioneers to writers, Carson Valley has been home to many influential women and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.

This peak back in time features Frieda Godecke, a familiar face in our blogs. Frieda was born to Herman Frederick (Fritz) Cordes and Maria Helena Cordes of Centerville. A Douglas County High School graduate, Frieda began writing a daily diary in 1921 and continued to do so until four days before her death in 1980. During this time she was able to perfectly capture the atmosphere of the early Carson Valley, recalling even the smallest detail from her childhood.

Frieda wrote two books, with her first, “Remembrances of Centerville”, focusing on her time growing up as a Carson Valley farm girl from about 1905 until 1915. Her second book, “After Centerville”, recalled incidents during her married life when she and her husband, Henry, lived on their own farm during the 1920’s and 30’s. She wrote 77 articles for The Record-Courier entitled “Early Days”. Many of these stories were reprinted in a book entitled “Frieda’s Files” before being added to our blogs. Read some of Frieda’s Files here.

Frieda was an accomplished writer and researcher, winning “Outstanding Historian of the Year” by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce in 1974. That same year she was named “Pioneer Woman of the Year” by Carson City Elks Club. For this award, she rode in the Nevada Admission Day Parade. Later that day, the Elks Ball was dedicated to her where she came in period costume and was escorted by her son, Wm. G. Godecke who was also in costume.

If you would like to learn more about Frieda or the rich history of Carson Valley, stop by the Museum and Cultural Center at 1477 Highway 395 in Gardnerville from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday thru Friday (excluding holidays).

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