Rebuilding Douglas County’s history |

Rebuilding Douglas County’s history

Staff Reports
The Pink House lit up at night in Genoa in October 2015.
Kurt Hildebrand |

Bricks continue to rise and excavation is ongoing in the largest historical building construction in Douglas County.

Work of converting the Minden Butter Building and the Minden Mill into the Bently Heritage Distillery entered its second year this month.

Owner Christopher Bently was honored earlier this month by the Douglas County Historical Society for the work done on the Minden Farmers Bank, which was finished in 2015.

Bently was recognized for the preservation of the bank building for his focus on sustainable design, environmental awareness and community-centric business practices.

Bently preserved the 90-year-old building by reusing elements such as the original teller windows, the gold leaf ceiling, an oil lamp that hung in the entrance since 1918 and repurposing the bank vaults into private meeting rooms.

The bank now serves as the corporate flagship of Bently Enterprises’ Nevada wing.

“I see no sense in building new structures when we have beautiful historic properties left abandoned,” said Bently. “We need a sense of tradition and worth brought back to our culture. A disposable world just won’t do.”

The Pink House and the C.O.D. Casino also received certificates.

The C.O.D. Casino was built in 1911 as the C.O.D. Garage that sold automotive vehicles, and was known as the oldest continuous family owned franchised dealership in Nevada.

The C.O.D. Casino opened its doors in 2014 using the doors, cashier window, woodwork, safe and heating stove that were a part of the original office.

C.O.D.’s original 1925 Buick tow truck, that was used for AAA towing, stands guard next to the office.

The brick walls, the exposed ceiling beams and the exterior were all preserved from the original building.

The renovation project cost about 20 percent more than new construction, but the C.O.D. Casino Corporation made the investment to ensure the historic character of the building and downtown Minden were retained.

The Pink House was built in 1855 as the Reese-Johnson-Virgin House and was painted pink in 1870, thus earning its name as The Pink House.

Lillian Virgin Finnegan lived in the house and suggested the idea of holding a dance and selling candy to raise funds for street lighting, starting the tradition of the Candy Dance.

Today’s owner Lois Wray worked to restore, retain and authentically replace details of the original house where necessary.

The porch was removed due to extensive damage and rebuilt to exact specifications of the original.

The railings match the original as well as the roof. Single pane vintage glass was replaced from a source in Lake Tahoe and most of the woodwork throughout the rooms remained original.