Historical Society given the go-ahead to pursue addition to Roberts House

Carson City supervisors approved Historical Society plans Thursday to pursue building a carriage house behind the historic Roberts House.

The two-story addition, approved by the city's Parks and Recreation and Historic Resources commissions previously, will house a meeting room, gift shop, small kitchen and handicap-accessible restroom on the first floor and a room to store archives and act as a library on the second floor.

The society will now begin raising money to pay for the addition, said president of the society Susan Ballew. They estimate the cost will be at least $235,000.

"It's going to be so wonderful," Ballew said. "We're really excited."

The city has more than doubled in size since the society began operating in 1969. The house is owned by the city and managed by the Parks and Recreation Department. The society was running out of room for meetings and for donations to the archives collection

"There's no place to keep Carson City history," Ballew said. "These are signs of growth, when you start to burst at the seams."

Parks and Recreation Director Steve Kastens said it was difficult to hold meetings inside the historic house.

"It's quite a challenge to stand sideways and talk out of both sides of your mouth to talk to both sides of the room," Kastens said jokingly to the board.

Plans for the carriage house were donated by a local architect and will blend with the Gothic Revival architecture of the house. The original house was constructed in Old Washoe City in 1859 and is now located at 1207 N. Carson St. In 1873, the house was placed on a flat cart and rolled over the hill to its present location.

James Doane Roberts was co-owner of the Roberts and Corbett's Saloon and was in mining. He married Anna Griffin of Liverpool, England, in Virginia City in 1864, and they had seven children.

Thurman Roberts willed the property to the children of Nevada and it became the property of Carson City, according to the society.


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