Saturday, 25 May 2024

Historical society seeks skilled tradespeople for stage stop, cable car projects

The Ely Stage Stop building during its summer of 2007 move. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

KELSEYVILLE – The Lake County Historical Society has two interesting projects that need the assistance and talents of our local tradespeople.

The society is seeking help for its Ely Stage Stop Museum and cable car restoration projects.

In July of 2007, the Ely house, one of the county's oldest buildings, was relocated from Highway 29 near Kit's Corner to a beautiful five-acre parcel on Soda Bay Road adjacent to the Riviera area. This was all made possible by vintner, Andy Beckstoffer who donated both the historic building and the five acres.

The county of Lake, in conjunction with the Lake County Historical Society, has been charged with the challenge of turning this generous donation into a first-class agricultural museum and visitors center.

Restoration efforts on the stage stop have begun. Due to the fine efforts of Public Services Director Kim Clymire and his staff, the building now has a proper foundation, a new roof and windows.

Clymire plans to add a wrap-around porch to the building next year and begin restoration efforts on the interior of the building.

After the restoration of the building is completed the county plans to turn over the site to the Lake County Historical Society.

The Lake County Historical Society has grand plans for the agricultural museum that will be located near the Ely house.

Under the direction of Greg Dills, chairman of the Ely Stage Stop Museum Committee, they plan to erect four turn-of-the-century barns on the five-acre parcel. Two of the four barns have been donated to the society and one has already been disassembled for shipment to the museum site.

As the barns are reconstructed on site, they will be filled with unique agricultural equipment that has been donated to the historical society over the years. Horse-drawn wagons, tractors and farm implements are just a few of the items that will be featured.

In order to make this museum a reality, the historical society will need the talents of local contractors and builders.

They will need an excavating contractor to cut the pads for the barns, cement contractors to lay the foundations and cement flooring of the barns.

Also needed are carpenters to erect the barns, roofing contractors and painters to help complete the buildings. The historical society is a nonprofit organization dependent on volunteer efforts but tax credits can be issued for those contractors who wish to realize some compensation.

Another important project on the drawing board of the society and the county is the restoration of a one-of-a-kind cable car. Car 38 is the last example of a pre-1906 earthquake cable car. Built in 1907, it was one of the last to be built in likeness of the pre-quake models. Surprisingly it is in fairly good shape but needs to be refurbished from top to bottom in order to insure it will last into the next millennium.

Bud Boyce of Lower Lake, a welder with over 60 years of experience, has offered to work on the steel undercarriage. The wooden cab of Car 38 is in need of an expert finish carpenter with "old school" savvy to supervise the restoration of the woodwork. Also needed is a building large enough to house Car 38 while restoration proceeds.

If you or anyone you know might be able to assist the Lake County Historical Society in any aspect of these two worthy endeavors please call Greg Dills about the Ely Museum at 707-263-4180, Extension 12, or Randy Ridgel about Car 38 at 707-490-8279.

Visit the Lake County Historical Society's Web site at


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05.25.2024 7:00 am - 11:00 am
Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast 
05.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
05.26.2024 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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05.28.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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06.01.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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06.04.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
06.08.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.11.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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