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Sooner than expected: Future arriving ahead of schedule for Historical Society facility

September 22, 2018

BULLHEAD CITY — Construction on the new home for the Colorado River Historical Society and Museum has been proceeding more quickly than expected.

The building at Bullhead Community Park could be ready for museum volunteers to begin moving in as soon as this month. In turn, having the new building ready for occupancy more quickly than anticipated means the grand opening might occur well before the previous target near Thanksgiving.

“It took years for us to break ground on the new building,” said Elsie Needles, president of the society. “It’s exciting because now it’s all coming together so quickly.”

Having a modern building to hold the collection of displays, artifacts and historical information has been a long-time goal of those who have devoted time and effort over the years to the museum.

The museum has operated out of the old Catholic Church next to Davis Camp on Highway 68 for decades. Constructed about 70 years ago, the building’s best days have long passed. The society has been dealing with myriad problems throughout the old church building.

The new building is about the same size as the old church. Both are roughly 2,100 square feet. Museum volunteers plan to add more space over time and eventually have a total of about 6,000 square feet, Needles said.

An anonymous donor helped the society raise the budgeted $250,000 to start construction of the new building earlier this year. It had taken a long time to collect donations of nearly $60,000 up to the point when the unidentified person provided the museum with the gift of nearly $200,000 this past spring.

When the donor said they wanted to see the project completed quickly, “it was music to our ears,” Needles said earlier this year.

Larry Adams, owner of Pueblo Construction and designer of the building, also has made that point.

The city has made large contributions to the museum. Needles also said Azteca Concrete in Fort Mohave donated labor for the concrete slab and that S & S Concrete in Bullhead City donated materials. Tri-State Building Materials and Mohave Electric Cooperative also provided help with the construction project. And so have many others.

It has turned out to be “a community project,” Needles said.

There are no paid staff members. The museum is a volunteer-only operation. And many of them have been spending a great deal of time and energy packing the collection and having it moved from the old location at 2201 Highway 68 to the new one.

About 5,000 area students visit the museum during a full season of operation. The museum usually opens on the Tuesday after Labor Day but the move this year to Community Park has pushed this year’s opening a couple of months.

Children younger than age 12 always get in free but everyone else is asked to donate $2 to enter the museum. The society continues its book sale in the Lil’ Red Schoolhouse, also at Community Park, on Fridays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. while the move to the new location takes place.

The Colorado River Historical Society and Museum is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity. Anyone interested in helping keep this collection available and in showable condition is welcome to become a museum volunteer.

Donations to help with these needs continue to be appreciated.

Operated exclusively by volunteers, anyone interested in helping keep the museum collection available to the public are encouraged to become a museum volunteer. Email crhsmuseum@frontier.net for details.

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