Genealogical Society Finally Gets Permanent Home

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At last, the Northern Gila County Genealogical Society is opening the doors of its own facility.

A recognition ceremony and ribbon cutting for the society's new home will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 at 304 E. Bonita. Tours will follow until 2 p.m., including complimentary Pizza Hut pizza and Pepsi.

Although NGCGS plans to eventually construct a site-built facility on the site, the donation of a manufactured home by Scottsdale residents Jim and Pat Bruder made it possible for the organization to vacate cramped quarters at Payson Care Center. The 24-x-58-foot structure was moved to the NGCGS site from Ponderosa Springs beyond Christopher Creek on Colcord Road.

Once the house was moved, it was refurbished and remodeled by a team of volunteers led by building coordinator Hoyt Kenmore whose wife, Alice, is the society's current president.

"It's a 1976 model and it wasn't HUD-approved," Kenmore said. "Bob Gould and Ray LaHaye worked with us to get it certified. This will be an interim facility until such time as we can get funds for a permanent facility."

Besides repainting and recarpeting, one bathroom was removed and the other modified to make it handicapped accessible, plumbing and wiring were redone, and a deck and handicapped ramp were added.

The new facility sits on a 100-x-167-foot parcel sold to NGCGS by past-president Sue Owens and husband Robert early in 2002. The eastern portion of the property, which is located just west of Goodman Street, is occupied by the Owens' home.

The manufactured home is the first permanent facility the society has had in its 26 years of existence. It will offer considerably more space than the two small rooms at Payson Care Center, allowing the society to use many books and records that have been in storage.

Past-president Lettie Cale, who joined the organization in 1994, is understandably excited about the new library.

"We'll have a lot more of our things available," she said. "For example, we have telephone directories from all over the country and we have them in storage. Now we can have them available, and it's surprising how often people will come in and want to look at a telephone directory."

NGCGS is a nonprofit organization that provides books and other archival records and information to individuals who want to trace their family history or do other historical research. It is currently open Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, but those hours will eventually be expanded.

NGCGS especially needs volunteers and donations to its building fund. For more information, call the society at 474-2139.

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