NEVADA CITY AND THE SARGENTS
Nevada City is rich with history, encompassing the downtown district, which has been registered as a national historic landmark since 1985. The City boasts numerous galleries, museums, restaurants, quaint lodging with old-fashioned hospitality, parks, artisan festivals, theaters and music venues.
Preservation of the town’s historic appearance, the narrow streets and century old buildings are just a part of our unique history. The Famous Marching Presidents revere these early pioneers, who not only helped shape our town, but also changed the course of history for all citizens because of their courage and vision.
The most notable pioneers were U.S. Senator Aaron Augustus and Ellen Clark Sargent. Fiery abolitionist and early feminist Susan B. Anthony, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, visited the Sargents at their Nevada City home in 1871. Ellen Clark Sargent was considered an influential pioneer suffragist. She was one of the tenacious trailblazing women who helped to initiate one of the most remarkable and successful nonviolent civil right efforts the world has ever seen.
It was U.S. Senator Aaron Augustus Sargent who bravely stood before the 44th Congress in 1878 and introduced the 19th Amendment.
While many gold rush towns have disappeared into the pages of history, Nevada City has emerged as a vibrant blend of the past and the present. We commemorate its history and the significant role its citizens have played in the world as exemplified by the Sargents.
THE FAMOUS MARCHING PRESIDENTS
The Famous Marching Presidents, a non-partisan group, is the only one of its kind. Annually, on the second Sunday of September, the Constitution Day Parade in Nevada City spotlights the Famous Marching Presidents and the First Ladies, accompanied by Pinkerton and Secret Service agents, Suffragettes and includes bands, civic groups and historical scenes which cap off a weekend of celebration. In addition, reenactments and parties pay homage to our country’s most important event: the 1787 signing of the Constitution of the United States of America. Nowhere is Constitution Day observed with such pomp and circumstance than in this tiny burg in the Sierra Foothills.
“We the people, in order to honor and celebrate the Constitution of the United States, form a near-perfect marching unit, establish community service, insure domestic knowledge of the Presidents, provide for the common amusement, promote the general respect, and secure the blessings and awards of Constitution Day Parade judges to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish the Famous Marching Presidents of Nevada City, California.”
It was 2012, when the Famous Marching Presidents turned 25, that the group announced plans to gift a monument to Nevada City of U.S. Senator Aaron and Ellen Clark Sargent. This important 19th century couple were major women’s right advocates. On September 8, 2013, the Famous Marching Presidents
officially kicked off its effort to fundraise, build and erect a monument that honors this all-but-forgotten Nevada City couple. Now, our group invites your support, interest, time and donations to complete this grand project.
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THE MONUMENT’S ARTIST- DOUGLAS VAN HOWD
Douglas Van Howd, Nevada born sculptor and painter, has become well-known worldwide for his wildlife and western creations. He received his advanced art education at the highly acclaimed Art Center School in Southern California, where he began to develop his exquisite lifelike detailed style that enhances the grace and movement he captures in his work. This trademark has brought him to a place of honor in his field and his works are found in collections worldwide.
Doug Van Howd has been commissioned to do work for heads of countries. His oil painting of Yellowstone Falls was presented to the Queen of the Netherlands during the Netherlands-American Bicentennial celebrations in Washington DC. He has twice been received as a guest of the government of Taiwan to present his works to President Chiang Ching-Kuo and President Lee Teng-hui.
His bald eagle “Masters of the Wind” is displayed in the office of the Secretary of the Interior, Washington DC, his portrait of Attorney General Edwin Meece hangs in the Hall of Justice, and his well-known “Friends of Freedom” bronze sculpture, after many years in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, has a new home in the Reagan Library.
Van Howd owns and operates Sierra Sculpture, Inc. which ensures him the finest in craftsmanship and quality in his castings, and specializes in the production of monumental bronze statues. Since 1988, he has been commissioned to place monumental sculptures in museums, resorts, corporate grounds, city sites and private estates. Many from around the world have been photographed with his bronze monuments, which are centers of attraction for all ages.