Renovations underway at Genoa courthouse museum |

Renovations underway at Genoa courthouse museum

Staff reports

Major renovations have been taking place at the Genoa Courthouse Museum this year, thanks to two historic preservation grants from the state Commission on Cultural Affairs.

The first grant, awarded in 1998, replaced critical mortaring in the brickwork of the 135-year-old building. The disintegration of the mortar over time had been causing leaks and jeopardizing the integrity of the building, according to spokesperson Liz Paul.

“Modern mortar compounds increased the stress on the bricks that were made in the Adams brickyard in 1865,” Paul said, “and the original mix was needed. The original mortar recipe was determined through chemical testing, and a new batch of it was mixed to do the repairs.”

The grant also provided funds to bring the building wiring up to code and to replace the windows with ultraviolet, double-paned glass. Artifacts exposed to light suffer damage over time, Paul said.

“The new glass provides a safer environment for the unique and precious artifacts in our collections,” Paul explained, “and makes a hospitable place for travelling exhibits from other museums around the state.”

A second grant was awarded in February of this year. The grant will fund additions to the electrical wiring and exhibit lighting as well as repainting of the museum interior.

New carpeting will be installed throughout the museum.

“This renovation could not be completed without the untiring efforts of the society’s trustees, museums’ staffs, docents, volunteers and various craft persons working together to once again make the Genoa Courthouse museum shine like the jewel in the crown and continue to be a source of pride for the Carson Valley,” said Marlena Hellwinkel, president of the Carson valley Historical Society, which operates the Genoa museum as well as the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center in Gardnerville.