Historians collaborate on Silver Springs 50th anniversary publication

SILVER SPRINGS - Two residents of Silver Springs are preparing an anniversary publication of sorts.

Virginia Johnson and Annetta Meinen, along with the help of residents - past and present - will collaborate to provide an archival record of Silver Springs covering the past 50 years.

"We just figured that if we didn't do it, it would never get done, " said Johnson.

It has been an on-again, off-again process for a number of years.

"Ten years ago, when we did the short history in the Silver Springs phone book, we covered a little bit of the ancient history and then punched into the '50s pioneers," she said.

Focusing on the first 20 years - 1950 to 1969 - as part of the tribute will prove a difficult undertaking, as most residents from that period are deceased or have moved on, Johnson said.

"It's something that we should have done," she said. "We'd think about it and then put it back on the shelf. This time we're serious about getting it done."

Their goal is to provide current and future residents accurate documentation of the history of Silver Springs as well as to honor its early pioneer families with a collection of memoirs, she said.

Although brothers Dan and Merle Peek were the first residents, Virginia (Lee) Johnson moved to Silver Springs when she was a teenager. Her brother, Patrick Michael Lee, was one of two babies born in the community in 1952. Virginia was the first from the community to graduate from Fernley High School.

She married a local man, a brick mason, who helped to build many of the original block buildings in town.

She later married Ray Johnson and they operate Custom Gardens Organic Produce in Silver Springs.

Annetta Meinan also arrived in 1952, along with her husband, Robert, and their 3-year-old son Bobby. Robert worked for the Silver Springs Land Co. and later the two developed their own real estate business. Their daughter Anne Louellen was also born in 1952 in the "New Community at the Crossroads."

"We hope to come out by Thanksgiving or Christmas this year," Johnson said of the publication. "A lot of it depends on the success of the people who help us. "

She said that she has received a few items, and information has been trickling in. But more is going to be required.

"Our original thought was that it might be as big as the telephone directory and we may have to look at something different," Johnson said.

She said that materials turned into the duo should be marked clearly for return and great care is being taken to ensure their safe return.

This two-person, self-appointed publication committee hopes to enlist the help of present and former residents. If you have information that might assist with their endeavor or know anyone who might descend from a Silver Spring's "founding family," call 577-2069, Johnson said.


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