In recent articles, the Nevada Community Historical Society has shared its struggle to raise funds for a failing HVAC system in the Nevada Community History Center on J Avenue. In addition to being a discomfort for volunteer staff and visitors, artifacts degrade when not stored in a climate-controlled environment. The Historical Society is fairly close to reaching its financial goal for that project. Thanks to money donated and the volunteers from the community, Nevada will soon have an air-conditioned Community History Center.
Unfortunately, just as one problem is remedied, two more have sprung up. Dry rot caused two attic windows at Dyer-Dowell to fail and allowed a colony of bats to settle in. Being an unoccupied building, the historical society was unaware of a problem until it became apparent we had more than an occasional winged visitor. The society has contacted a reputable firm; removal of the rodents has already been initiated and their re-entry blocked. Within a couple of weeks, they should be gone.
The damage left behind by the bats is the expensive part. Being a health hazard, removal of the guano must be done with care, and the society board has elected not to open Dyer-Dowell on Sundays until July 9. This guano removal process will cost $6,000 to $8,000, and insurance does not cover infestation of vermin or any damage caused. Needless to say, this is a huge blow to the society’s budget. As cleanup progresses, the society will board up the attic windows at Dyer-Dowell and have replacement windows fabricated.
Another issue has also appeared at the Halley one-room school house. This spring, mold spread inside the building on the ceiling and back wall. The society has contacted a firm to remove all of the mold. The problem now is moisture and ventilation. An inspection found the roof to be sound, but humidity is being trapped within the walls and an old stovepipe hole needs to be sealed better. These problems cause moisture and breed mold.
The board is trying to create more ventilation to the school house and to seal up the exterior wall so moisture doesn’t creep in. However, in a building without electricity, this could be a difficult task. Initial mold removal is costing in the hundreds of dollars, and repainting and sealing the exterior will also be expensive.
So, the Historical Society has a series of unfortunate events. The board owns and works to maintain and ultimately restore eight buildings: Dyer-Dowell; Evergreen Lane/Briggs Terrace house, the workmen’s shed, carriage house and pig barn; Halley school house; George Child Log House and the Nevada Community History Center. Sometimes it seems like we are constantly putting out fires rather than moving forward with the necessary restoration of the Evergreen Lane properties. Any homeowner knows maintenance of a property can be a daunting task. Take that times eight, with some of the properties being in disrepair when obtained, throw in the mowing of over 8.4 acres at three locations, snow removal, plus preservation of historical accuracy and you have some idea of the tasks set before that NCHS board.
Once again, we ask for the financial support of the community to maintain and eventually restore our properties to the grandeur we envision. Evergreen Lane and Dyer-Dowell (closed until July 9) are open every Sunday from 2-4 p.m., from now through Labor Day for tours by NCHS volunteers. A free-will donation is asked of those taking tours.