To the editor:

We encourage the public to come to Evergreen Lane and enjoy the grounds, the gardens, the buildings. We want you to enjoy the beautiful history of Nevada. That’s why we strive to preserve our historical properties. Being nonprofit means we do not exist or dedicate our time for the sole purpose of making money. Our purpose is to pay for maintenance for all of our buildings at our three locations. This maintenance is mowing, gardening, tree trimming to tuckpointing, window replacement, restoration, cleaning. Considering the age of the buildings, certain types of maintenance has to be done the right way and stay original as possible, which is more costly.

When you pay for goods or services to the Nevada Community Historical Society, it goes directly to the needs of the properties. The board members and the Society’s members are completely volunteer. Not only do they donate their time, they donate money, buy things for and from the Society and donate artifacts. Total volunteer work for 2016 has been over 2,000 hours and that’s only what has been reported.

The Nevada Community Historical Society owns three properties: Dyer-Dowell Victorian Home, a Victorian house that was originally the first jail in Story County; the History Center, formerly Dr. Bonthala’s Clinic; and Evergreen Lane/Briggs Terrace, the former residence of the Dutton/Nady families. This last property, Evergreen Lane, sits in a park-like setting and features not only the house, but also the carriage house, pig barn and a workmen’s house, which are original to the site. Also at Evergreen Lane are the George Child Log Cabin and the Halley One-Room School, both of which were moved to this location. These properties are a part of Nevada’s history and deserve to be preserved to educate our children about their heritage.

The Nevada Community Historical Society is a nonprofit volunteer society with a volunteer board. A nonprofit organization is one that does not declare a profit and instead utilizes all revenue available, after normal operating expenses, in service to the interest of the public. The dues paid to be a member are put toward the preservation and the maintenance of the properties. Considering the age of these structures, this is not an easy task. Other considerations are the preservation and care of the artifacts to be found in these buildings, many of which are climate-controlled. The extremes of temperatures can be very damaging to fragile items, such as cloth, paper, leather, even wood and plaster. The fees that are charged for our events and for use of the property for weddings, meetings, classes, reunions and photographs are used for this preservation and maintenance. If the properties are to continue to be available for the enjoyment and education for everyone, they must be maintained.

Members of the Nevada Historical Society