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Pahrump museum holding fundraising auction

There's a call for action to save the Pahrump Historical Museum.

The museum's board is holding an auction to raise funds in order to keep the doors open, after recent talks of closing the facility due to Nye County budget issues.

Museum Clerk Marilyn Davis said the museum has enough funding to remain open this year, but the future is uncertain.

"We're trying to build that fund to make sure we have that money," she said. "We've just been given a couple of modulars, so we might even be able to expand."

Davis noted that she's never seen such dire circumstances for the museum that's been in existence for decades.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time we've ever done an auction of this type and it's the first time I personally have ever done an auction, but I'm looking forward to it," she said. "It will be held outside in the parking lot. If people want to come, they should come early to register."

Overseeing Saturday's event is local auctioneer Ski Censke. Censke said his participation was a no-brainer.

"I enjoy Pahrump and living in Nye County and the museum is part of our history," he said. "We have generations coming up that are not familiar with what transpired since the early settlers were here. The museum through the generosity of a lot of citizens in Nye County, has turned into an amazing walk through the history of Nye County and it's important to continue the heritage and history of our community."

The auction starts at 3 p.m.

Davis said many people have come forward to donate items for the auction, while making sure to note none of the museum's artifacts are up for auction.

Some of the items include big screen televisions, appliances and collectables.

"Everything that we are auctioning has been brought in by various members of the museum board and other people in the community," she said. "We are absolutely not auctioning anything that is part of the museum and we are accepting cash and checks only."

Additionally, Davis said the museum has seen a sharp increase in visitors as of late.

"Traffic is starting to pick up and we're very pleased about that," she said. "We are seeing an increase in the snowbirds that visit as well as people traveling over to Death Valley. We also want to give a big thank you to members of the community who are signing up and becoming members of the museum and that's really helping."

The fiscal year 2016 budget for Pahrump Valley Museum totaled $112,446, according to Nye County records. Marilyn Davis, Pahrump Valley Museum director, said the museum's expenses run at about $85,000 between salaries, electricity and alarms. The rest of the money goes toward the upkeep of the museum.

The county, which is facing a $400,000 budget shortfall next year, may cut the museum's subsidy to close that deficit.

Davis also said, though it's unclear how much money the auction will generate, every little bit matters.

"We just want to thank the community for supporting us and providing us with items to auction off for the museum," she said. "Most of the items came from our board of directors who have donated and there have been a few other individuals who have also donated but it's pretty much everyone on the board of directors."

Davis said those wishing to support the museum may consider becoming a members.

"All they have to do is fill out an application here at museum," she said. "They're individual memberships, family memberships and business memberships. We still have individual life memberships if people want to become a lifetime member of the museum."

The Pahrump Historical Museum is located at 401 E. Basin Ave.

Admission is free.

Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

For additional information call the museum at 775-751-1970.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris @sharris@pvtimes.com. Follow @sharrispvt on Twitter.

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