Minden business gets national historic not
The Minden downtown area still has a hint of how it looked in 1905, when the town was built around the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. And Nevada Gourmet Grocery owners John Campbell and Martha Kinder would like to keep it that way.
Campbell and Kinder are owners of the grocery, at 1596 Esmeralda Ave., which is in the old Farmers Bank of Carson Valley. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places recently, along with four other Nevada buildings.
The Farmers Bank building was recognized for its historical significance and its association with H.F. Dangberg Jr., who founded the town of Minden. Built in 1909, the building functioned as a bank until 1918, when the financial institution moved to a larger building across the street. The old bank served as the Minden Post Office until 1974.
When Campbell and Kinder bought the property in November 1996, the last tenant had been a business office. It took them two months to complete the $60,000 renovation of the inside of the building.
Campbell said they didn’t do anything to the outside, except change the color of the window and door overhangs from white to tan.
The business, which sells 2,000 specialty foods, coffee and wines, and claims to have the largest supply of Ghirardelli chocolate in Northern Nevada, has pictures of the building through the ages, so customers can see that although the area has grown and changed, the building hasn’t.
Campbell said he was excited that the building was named to the National Registry, just eight weeks after being named to the State Registry, and he hopes the rest of the area will join him in seeking the designation of a historic district.
“We just feel this little area of Minden is a special area. This (designation) lends itself to a piece of what we’re trying to do with Minden. If everybody got together and applied to be a historic district, Minden really would have something people would want to come and see,” Campbell said.
Campbell said being on the state and national registries does little in the way of bringing money his way, but hopefully, it will prevent any plans of destroying the building in the future.
“We want to keep it that way. The county still has the say-so, but we feel we want to preserve the building if it can be preserved,” Campbell said.
He said he plans on installing a brass plaque on the front of the building that will identify it as an historical site.
Other buildings in Douglas County listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Nevada Department of Museums, Library and Arts, are the former Carson Valley Hospital, 1466 Highway 395; the Carson Valley Improvement Club Hall, 1606 Esmeralda Ave.; the original Douglas County Courthouse, 1616 Eighth St.; the original Douglas County High School, 1477 Highway 395; Farmer’s Bank of Carson Valley, 1590 Fourth St.; the Dangberg Home Ranch; the Minden Flour Milling Co.; the Minden Butter Manufacturing Co.; the Minden Wool Warehouse; and the Minden Inn.
Campbell said he would still like to see the C.O.D. Garage, which was built in 1912 and is across the street from the grocery, be placed on the registry. He said all the independent owners of the buildings in the area have to get together to apply for a historical district designation, which was bestowed on Genoa in 1975.