59°F
weather icon Clear

Nye County’s Belmont Courthouse set for restoration

The Belmont Courthouse will soon see construction on a restoration project following Nye County approval of a contract with Ben F. Dotson Construction Inc., based out of Fallon, Nevada.

The contract totals $52,218 to be funded from the Nye County Capital Improvements fund and includes stabilization and repair of the existing structure.

The restoration project was addressed at the Nye County Commission’s April 2 meeting and met with unanimous approval. Nye County Commissioner Lorinda Wichman, who represents the Belmont area, was obviously delighted to see the project moving forward.

“Many years ago the park service was the authority charged with preservation of the courthouse,” Wichman explained of its history.

“The roof was leaking and many of the windows were broken and some doors wouldn’t close securely. The residents of the town were desperately trying to preserve and protect the building.”

Wichman said the park service was unable to secure the funding necessary to fix the roof so the building was eventually returned to Nye County’s ownership.

The commission then approved a request to replace the roof, with the design and materials approved by the State Historic Preservation Office, a project that was ultimately completed.

However, there was still much work to be done to return the building to its original glory and that was a main motivating factor behind the formation of the 501(c)3 organization the Friends of the Belmont Courthouse, Wichman detailed.

The nonprofit began fundraising efforts to restore the windows and doors to protect the building from damaging weather and Wichman was appointed as the commission liaison for the organization.

“All restoration efforts are done to the specifications and approval of the State Historic Preservation Office,” Wichman stated. “The 501C(3) uses the services of that office’s recommended engineer for structural renovations.”

Wichman noted that with the publishing of various writers in travel and tourism outlets, the popularity of the tour of the courthouse has increase exponentially and that has created a need to ensure the structure is properly stabilized.

“With that popularity growing, it is the responsibility of the county, as the owner of record, to make the structure as safe as possible for the visitors,” Wichman said. “This contract will be the first action beyond protecting the building from the weather.”

Wichman also noted that the staircase within the courthouse, which is the dominant view when entering the building, will also be restored.

“The State Historic Preservation Office and the recommended engineer approved the restoration plans for that staircase to ensure it is structurally sound to continue the tours,” she said.

As for the future, Wichman said the Friends of the Belmont Courthouse hope to eventually renovate room by room and furnish with period pieces to represent an interpretation of how it may have looked in the active years.

“They have gathered photographs and documents that offer some clues to that end… We are all very excited to have a successful bidder and look forward to the finished staircase.”

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Man dies after Highway 160 collision in Nye

A possible medical condition is believed to be the cause of a two-vehicle crash along the 900 block of Highway 160 on Wednesday, Jan. 13, just after 10 a.m., where one driver died.

Wild horses stroll through the Calvada Eye

On most mornings, Pahrump resident Joe Proenza enjoys a solitary, leisurely walk with his dog Oliver at the Calvada Eye, but just recently he had some additional company, in the form of wild horses at that location.

Belvada Hotel opens for business

What once was a dilapidated eyesore in the town of Tonopah is no more, with the historic Belvada building transformed into a brand new hotel that is now open and ready for business.

Senior Menus

Pahrump Senior Center

Nevada Guard will join law enforcement at inauguration

More than 200 Nevada National Guard soldiers and airmen are set to assist federal law enforcement in the days prior to and during the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Washington, D.C.

House votes to impeach Trump for second time

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time for inciting a violent mob to storm the Capitol and confront lawmakers — an insurrection that left five people dead.

Training offered for green industries online

As part of the Green Industry Continuing Education Series, University of Nevada, Reno Extension is offering a series of online, entry-level classes for those wishing to become nursery worker certified. The workshops will include topics important to green industry professionals, including landscapers, nursery workers and groundskeepers.

Woman run over by her own vehicle in parking lot

A woman is recovering from injuries suffered after she was run over by her own vehicle at the Green Valley Grocery convenience store on Highway 372 near Blagg Road last Tuesday, Jan. 5th.