The Pahrump Valley Museum received a financial “shot in the arm” this past Saturday courtesy of Nye County Public Auction officials.
The museum raised nearly $1,200 to help fund the 23-year-old museum, whose future remains uncertain due to pending budget cuts by Nye County.
Though museum officials were hoping for a larger turnout, auctioneer Ski Censke said it’s not important how many people turn out, more so, how much money is generated by the event.
“Considering that everything was donated by different people, I think it went quite well,” he said. “It ended up being about a two-hour auction and the people who came out had a great time. We accomplished our mission, which was to raise some additional funds for the museum.”
Museum Board President Gary Hollis noted the importance of Pahrump’s sole museum during the auction, while thanking attendees for showing up.
“The money that we raise is really going to help this museum to stay open,” he said. “We are trying to keep the kids and the community interested in the museum. If we get the kids interested, we will have the parents here as well and that’s the goal of the museum board and it’s my direction to make sure that it happens.”
Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said she fully supports the museum and what it represents to the community.
“I am on the board of the museum and I believe in it wholeheartedly, thoroughly and completely,” she said to attendees. “Anything you can do to help us keep it open, we really appreciate it.”
Museum Clerk Marilyn Davis said she was hoping for more participation, but she’s grateful for the auction.
“We might have something going on maybe next month,” she said.
Davis also said the museum recently received two modular buildings which could be used to expand the existing facility.
“They are 24-by-60 modulars, and we are trying to decide where to put them,” she said. “They could be used to add some extra exhibits. I’m hoping for an exhibit for our veterans because we have a lot of them living here, so it would be nice to have an exhibit for them.”
Censke, a longtime Pahrump resident, feared the demise of the museum would be a loss for young people and those who may not be familiar with the history of Pahrump.
“I have been here since this museum first opened and if you look at the things inside this museum, it captures the history of this area,” he said. “Without this museum we will wind up with generations and generations of people who will not have a clue about how Pahrump was started and what were the trials and tribulations the early people went through.”
Additionally, Censke noted that by and large, Pahrump is known mainly for its brothels and one notorious figure.
“When I tell people I’m from Pahrump, the first thing that comes to their mind is Heidi Fleiss, or they say that’s where they have the brothels,” he said. “We have come a long way though.”
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at email@example.com. Follow @sharrispvt on Twitter.