xhtml xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="en" xml:lang="en"> Belmont Courthouse Restoration

Flag Pole being installed on August 14, 2014

Thank you to all the volunteers that worked very hard so that our flag can fly proudly at the courthouse. A job well done.

Updated photo of the restoration July 2014

Showing all new windows in place. Looking good!

Updated photos of the restoration May 2014

Restoring the Courthouse - Long May She Stand

The Belmont Courthouse nestled at the head of Ralston Valley, at one time stood as an elegant center piece of the county seat of Nye County, Nevada. The building of it began in 1875 and it was completed in 1876; Now she is old and worn and in need of love and care. One can still see her stately elegance where she has stood for many years. Residents and interested folks have recognized this need and formed an organization called The Friends of the Belmont Courthouse. Their goals are to restore and save this historic gem by giving her a facelift and much needed structural repairs.

Windows were broken and removed leaving the interior exposed to the harsh elements. The jail cells were torn out and used in Gabbs, Nevada only to be returned in 1991 and placed outside the brick jail structure. Over time a deteriorating roof caused water leakage and structural damage. Most of the interior contents or architectural elements have disappeared including furniture, heating stoves, hardware, ornate wood trim, flooring, and the like.

On June 13, 1972 the town of Belmont was placed on the National Register of Historical Places. The courthouse was recognized as a part of this historic district. The two story red brick building was transferred to the Nevada Division of State Parks, State of Nevada on August 20, 1974. A preservation effort was undertaken in 1975 to restore and stabilize the courthouse. At that time a metal roof was replaced, stairs were braced, exterior wood was painted, faulty and weak structural systems were corrected and the cupola was restored. Plastic sheeting was installed on all windows as protection from inclement weather. A seismic retrofit was completed in 2007. The building was again transferred in 2011 back to Nye County with both entities in agreement because of budget cuts. Nye County would be able to use volunteer help to rehabilitate the courthouse, where the Park Service could not. Late in 2011 the roof was temporarily sealed in preparation for winter.

The Friends of the Belmont Courthouse is always looking for historical photographs, particularly photographs taken in or before the 1940's of the courtroom or offices in their original state, and would be grateful for copies of photos that would help with the restoration process.

Restoration Progress of the Belmont Courthouse - 2012

The new roof for the Courthouse is near completion and is turning out beautifully as these photos show. As many of you might already know, Nye County generously provided funding for the roof project. The job went out to bid this past summer with Bison Construction of Washoe Valley, NV being awarded the work. They have worked closely with the Friends of the Belmont Courthouse, Nye County personnel and Nevada State Parks to make the project a reality.

In September the old roof metal was removed that had been previously installed in 1976. The good news was that the underlying wood sheathing was intact and was not showing any major signs of water damage, thus it did not need to be replaced. Shortly thereafter sub contractor, Northeast Masonry re-pointed the mortar around the chimneys, a job that was essential to waterproof potential leaks that might affect the integrity of the chimneys, the roof underlayment and the interior of the building. They did a wonderful job, especially in their efforts to match the existing mortar color. Later the cupola was painted with a fresh coat of bright white paint. A waterproofing membrane was then laid over the wood sheathing with the metal roofing material arriving on site in early October. Since then, Bison Construction's roofing crew has been diligently working to get the metal installed before winter sets in. The job should be completed by the end of October.

The photos shown here were taken on October 20, 2012, a spectacular fall day in Belmont. The Colonial Red color of the standing seam metal roof really seems to have been a good choice for this restoration project. The finished roof complements the brickwork of the building and looks striking against the Nevada blue sky. Early in the planning stages, much discussion occurred as to what would be the best color for the project. With the expertise help of Ron James of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) it was decided that Colonial Red would be the most historically correct color. The project thus far is a true affirmation of what can be accomplished when both public entities and private individuals work together for a common goal.

Friends of the Belmont Courthouse want to thank everyone who helped make this recent project become a reality. This includes Nye County and its commissioners, the State Historic Preservation Office, Nevada State Parks, Bison Construction and their subcontractors and all the dedicated members and volunteers of the Friends of the Belmont Courthouse who have contributed their time, money and passion towards the first big step in restoring this grand old building.