Douglas High students re-paint the ‘D’
June 29, 2012
The big block ‘D’ that overlooks Carson Valley from a steep eastern face of the Carson Range above David Walley’s Hot Springs got a facelift earlier this month.
Approximately 50 members of Douglas High’s Block D Letterman’s Club and Sierra Club spent the better part of two days freshening up the Valley landmark.
On June 2, a cleaning crew made the hike to remove overgrowth and rebuild parts of the ‘D’. On June 6, a painting crew went up to give the rocks a fresh coat of white paint.
Club members carpooled to the top of the hill and hiked down to the ‘D’ while carrying paint buckets and mops.
CalStar transported the paint to the site by helicopter and Pat Caldwell allowed club members to park on his property above the D.
After painting the ‘D’, crews hiked down to the hot springs and carpooled back up to pick up the original cars.
The Block D Club has been making the hike every other year to ensure the ‘D’ is maintained.
The letter was first painted in the fall of 1931, with Douglas High students blazing a trail straight up the face of the steep grade.
Civil engineer Otto Hussman provided the original engineering and surveying of the project.
Students spent nearly two months worth of weekends placing rocks and were able to only get one coat of whitewash on before the winter weather set in.
A series of winter storms left the ‘D’ barely visible by spring time.
Douglas students applied a thicker coat of paint in the fall of 1932 and made a return trip every following year for more than 20 years.
The ‘D’ fell into disrepair, though, after the annual trips ceased until the Block D club took over maintenance in 2000.