“I just knew it would come back you can't keep this place down,” says Tammy Buzick, Bowers Mansion Curator.
This is a dream job for Buzick who says she often spent her time on the grounds of Bowers Mansion pulling weeds and taking care of the home that was built back in 1862.
The original owners, Sandy and Eilley Bowers were the new millionaires of the Comstock and spared no expense decorating their home.
Most of the furnishing now have been donated but represent the time the Bowers lived here.
Buzick says Sandy died, and his wife made the mansion a boarding house.
But she would eventually run out of money.
The house would eventually land in the hands of Henry Rider who brought the building back to life.
“By 1946 he was ready to sell. He said he believed it belonged to Nevada's children. 12 women from Reno came out and each handed him a one dollar bill and said will you hold it for us? They raised $25,000 through public donations, and penny drives from children. They didn't have enough to buy it, but it was enough for the County Commission to step forward: “we have to save Bowers Mansion”, so they paid $75,000,” says Buzick.
Before the economic downturn in 2009, tours to school kids, social groups, and history buffs were common.
A soft opening a couple of weeks ago proved to the skeptics that the mansion, which opened its doors 150 years ago this summer, is still relevant.
“Several hundred people through the tours,over the weekend, and that really doesn't surprise me,” says Eric Crump, Washoe County Operations Supervisor.
“I always like the saying, "That's the history of Bower's Mansion." There's elaborate fabric that came from France. They are tattered and torn but they are still hanging,” says Buzick as she stares at the curtains in Sandy's bedroom.
The mansion is re-opened along with the pool which too has been closed since 2009.
The pool's days of operation are Monday through Sunday.
That schedule continues to August 18th.
A $150,000 dollar donation from the Pennington Foundation made the popular swimming hole, whole again.
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