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Sat, July 20

Dewey-Humboldt museum building up for grabs

Dewey-Humboldt Historical Museum building. Tribune photo.

Dewey-Humboldt Historical Museum building. Tribune photo.

Members of the Dewey-Humboldt Historical Society were dismayed to see a For Sale sign appear on the Dewey-Humboldt Historical Museum building early this past week.

"So we thought now would be a good time to communicate the facts as we know them and perhaps dispel a few rumors," said David Nystrom, museum board secretary.

Although disappointed to learn the building was for sale, Nystrom said museum members were aware of the prospect of a possible sale from the beginning of its lease with Gateway Baptist Church, the property owner.

"As an organization, we always understood that the property could be sold; and the possibility of a sale is included as a risk in our business plan. Naturally, we had hoped any sale would be a bit further in the future, when the museum was more established from a financial perspective," Nystrom said.

He added that a real estate agent would be showing the property to an interested party and asked that a member of the Historical Society be present to open the building and turn off the alarm system.

Even if the interest turns into an offer to buy, that does not mean the Historical Society would be booted out or could not renegotiate its lease with a new landlord, Nystrom said in an email to Historical Society members.

The organization has "first right of refusal," according to the lease agreement with Gateway Baptist Church, he said. This means if the Historical Society is able to match an offer accepted by the church, it would get first crack at buying the property for that same amount.

"We will not know until a serious, potential buyer comes forward. Any other discussion is pure speculation," he added.

At one time, the Dewey-Humboldt town council discussed purchasing the property. The conversation occurred during executive session, which is closed to the public. The town, however, has budgeted $600 per month to help DHHS with the rent during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

This may be a good time to visit the Museum or bring out-of-town guests to Main Street, Humboldt, during the holidays. The museum will remain open Thursday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for New Year's Day. Admission is free; donations are appreciated.

Nystrom said regardless of any future sale or change in property ownership, as an organization the Historical Society continues to appreciate the daily effort put in by the volunteers and also the support of the community.

"We are proud to have a museum that has come so far in such a short amount of time," he said.

For more information, email David Nystrom at thedesertrat@mac.com.

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