Transcript of interview with Ruth Eppenger D'Hondt by Claytee D. White, August 25, 2011, and July 9, 2012


Digital ID
Transcript of interview with Ruth Eppenger D'Hondt by Claytee D. White, August 25, 2011, and July 9, 2012
Material Set
White, Claytee D.
Interview with Ruth Eppenger D'Hondt conducted by Claytee D. White on August 25, 2011 and July 9, 2012. Born and raised in Las Vegas, D'Hondt was one of the early black cocktail servers on the Las Vegas Strip, working at Caesars Palace for twenty-six years. D'Hondt's family owned a restaurant, Mattie's Cafe, and her father also worked at the Nevada Test Site.
Ruth D'Hondt was born and reared in Las Vegas, living on Jackson Street where her family owned Mattie's Cafe. Named for her mother, the restaurant provided not just great food but employment for Ruth and her five brothers and sisters. Jackson Street was the business thoroughfare of the historic black community, the Westside. In 1959, the family moved to Berkley Square, currently the second Las Vegas residential community listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As a young woman, Ruth became inspired by the look and lifestyle of both San Francisco and Seattle where she lived for ten years. She appreciated the greenery, the ambiance, and the beauty that she found lacking in Las Vegas. When she returned in 1976, Berkley Square had matured and Ruth moved into a home on the same street where she played as a school girl. She secured employment among the first wave of black women who did not have to toil in the back-of-the-house of the hotel casino industry. Instead she served cocktails at the Marina, the Castaways, and then twenty-six years at Caesars Palace. Today, Ruth volunteers as president of the Berkley Square Neighborhood Association and was instrumental in working with the city of Las Vegas to have the community declared an historic neighborhood.
Identified Individuals
Identified Corporate Bodies
Identified Neighborhood
Westside; Berkley Square;
Neighborhood City / Town
F850.N4 E66 2012
Original Collection
Original Date (interview)
2011-08-25; 2012-07-09
Subject (FAST)
DC Type
Genre (TGM)
Specific Genre (LCSH)
This material may be protected by copyright. Personal, including educational and academic, use of this material is without restriction; but acknowledgement of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries is requested whether the use is oral, web or in print. Commercial use of any portion of this material requires permission. For further information please contact Digital Collections: This document is an oral history. It is a spoken account of certain events and phenomena recorded at one particular moment and filtered through one individual's life experience, sensibility, and memory. As such, it should be considered a primary source rather than a final, verified, or complete narrative of the events it records.
Digital Publisher
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Digital Collection
Master Extent
3,669,916 bytes
Master File Format

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