The Newa

A Word from Virginia Terry

JUNE 2013
ELY RENAISSANCE NEWSLETTER
VILLAGE NEWS:

I hope all were able to read the new Ruralite about the Art/Wine Walk. The General Store is on
the cover and the article on page 4. This wonderful PR was done by Al and Brenda.

The overhang roof is now completed by Mark. This wonderful addition looks like it was there
for 100+ years and give shade and protection from rain/snow to the concession stand and bar
area over the barn. The columns will be eventually encased.

All of the houses are shined and welcoming for visitors this summer. Thanks to all who have
been working so hard for 2013 season. The General Store has been completely redone thanks to
Rosemary and Jerrilyn. The barn features treasures waiting for a new home and repurpose.
This weekend Vintage Tag Sale features huge boxes of Christmas bulbs and lightspriced at $5.00
/box, solid doors, window panes, tables, chairs and unusual antiques. The table that Glenn
refinished is a winner! Thanks so to Margaret for delicious lunch for the volunteers last Friday.

The Village looks better than ever with the attractive benches Darl made from old bed frames.
Mark has terraced the hill and it is ready for planting. Does anyone have lilac bushes
honeysuckles, virginia creeper, etc. that will come back each year and grow in this climate?

Hope to see all this weekend. Come by to see the houses, barn, General Store, and the new
overhang!!! Virginia

The Ely Renaissance Village
by Lorraine Clark

The Village consists of nine houses, the General Store, and
the barn and represents the housing that was available in
Ely in the early part of the twentieth century.

The property was owned by William Geragty and his family
from the early 1900's until the Ely Renaissance Society
purchased it in 2005. The intention of restoring the houses
was to preserve the style of architecture found here and
recognize the various ethnic groups that came to the area to
work.

Several styles of buildings are restored and open for the
public to tour.

The Miner's Cabin represents typical one or two room
houses that prospectors lived in during the early mining
days. There was no running water, no electricity, and the
only convenience was the wood stove that was used for
both heat and cooking.

Two of the houses represent shotgun style houses which
were one room added on to the back of the house with
various rooms being added as the owners were able. The
name comes from the idea that a shotgun could be fired
through the house, passing through each room and out the
backdoor without hitting anything. As the families grew and
were able, rooms were added on, creating long, narrow
houses. The houses date to before 1913.

The Barn was used as storage for Mr. Geraghty's Storage
and Transfer business and held nearly 40 trunks and boxes
of treasures when the ERS purchased the property. Many of
the items were used to furnish the houses and some items
were auctioned to help with costs. Today the barn is used
for storage and features a concession booth that allows for
serving refreshments during events at the Village.

Six of the houses were railroad kit homes that were shipped
in on the railroad for employee housing in 1909. Originally
located on Ave B and Eighth Street in East Ely near the depot,
these houses were assembled on site and were considered
very modern for the time. They each had the same 4-room
floor plan that featured central heat, electricity, running
water, and most importantly, flush toilets. When the railroad
decided to no longer provide housing, Geraghty purchased
the houses and moved them to his property in the early
1920's.

The General Store is an original retail building that has been
on the property since the early 1900's. The store has been
restored as the gift shop, featuring books on the history of
the area, prints of the murals, antiques, and local art work.

An outdoor theater area has been added with seating for
about 100 when events are held in the Village. A covered
tent area also is used, providing shade.

A tour through the houses offers a chance to see wood
stoves, wringer washing machines, manual typewriters, pull
chain toilets, and a variety of other furnishings. Each house
is decorated in the style of one of the ethnic groups of the
area. The English house is the one the Geraghtys lived in as
they were originally from England. The Spanish and French
houses pay honor to the Basque people of the area. The
Italian, Greek, Asian, and Slavik houses are furnished in the
styles representing these early residents.

The village is a step back in time to a much simpler way of
life. Plan to tour during June through September as the
Village welcomes you each Saturday.

Alumni News

Thank you to all of the individuals who
have provided pictures for use on our web
page: Caroline McIntosh, Lorraine Clark,
Margaret Bath,Virginia Terry, Glenn Terry,
John Hickman, Jonathan Haraden and
Patricia Fua.
WHO ARE "WE" ARE AND WHAT WE DO..

The Ely Renaissance Society was founded in 1999 by
a group of individuals with the vision of an attractive
downtown area which would be representative of the art
and culture belonging to the diverse group of people who
had built and strengthened the small community through
the years.

As occurs in many mining towns, cycles of “boom or
bust” had left the community of Ely Nevada dreaming for
a more stable economy, something more than mining
alone.

One hundred and eighty miles away from any other town
or city boasting a larger population Ely had little hope of
attracting tourists, but the potential was there. After all,
in its heyday Ely had been a bustling town with
numerous small family owned businesses catering to the
needs of the settling families to ranch, to work the mine,
and build the railroad. People came from everywhere,
and the small town of Ely was a true example of a
diverse population.

The stories, characters, and the influences of the many
ethnic groups would not be lost. And so, a movement
sprang forth to not only preserve and celebrate the
richness of the community, but also to offer the story up
to visitors.

Volunteers to the Ely Renaissance Society began with
commissioning murals to show the lifestyle of this
Nevada community from historical perspectives such as
the Pony Express, as well as modern times and the “age
of communication”. Sculptures made from mining
machinery and parks with labyrinths, began to spring up
one by one. The Global Mural Association held a
conference in Ely to celebrate the accomplishment.
Tourists now take the “Art Walk” to enjoy over 22
murals and sculptures in the downtown area.

The next venture of the group was to purchase a piece of
property made up of 12 shotgun houses and a barn.
These small houses have been made into unique
museums depicting the turn of the century population of
Ely. Re-enactments and living history presentations are
held at the “Ely Renaissance Village” as well as many
other yearly activities from Farmer’s Market to the
Art/Wine Walk which celebrates local Nevada artists and
their work.

The Ely Renaissance Society welcomes volunteers and
donations. If you would like more information about our
activities and meeting times please con

 

 


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