Restoration of the historic 
Ruth Community Church 
for Museum in Ruth, Nevada

Condition of the Church April 2000 - click on pictures to enlarge. Shaputis photos

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Juniper Street view

Side of building

Back view

A group of Ruth residents met in the Ruth Community Center on March 31, 2000 to discuss ways to preserve and restore the old Community Church building. The committee wants to restore the White Pine County owned building for use as the Ruth museum to display mining and other items of local interest that have been collected over the years by people anticipating the future availability of a museum for Ruth, Nevada. Linda Ream informed those present that "The Ely Methodist Church has agreed to return the original Church Bell which was once housed in the small steeple at the top of the Ruth Community Methodist Church when the building is restored into the Ruth Museum."

The Ruth Museum will focus on the history of the area which includes copper mining, the defunct towns surrounding the mines, people, pictures, artifacts, events, businesses, schools, churches, buildings, and history of the Robinson Mining District. 

New Ruth residents and Utah contractors, George and Marlena Huggard, have agreed to help restore the church to its original condition by providing free labor, primer and white paint to protect the outside of the building. George Huggard is a paint contractor and finish carpenter. He and his wife plan on retiring soon and living in the house they purchased at 27 Juniper Street. Outside painting of the church is tentatively scheduled to begin sometime in May depending on weather.

A new roof was installed a few years ago and is in good condition. The condition of the floor has yet to be determined. Some areas of the foundation need repair or replacement. Volunteers are needed to help sand wood and other tasks. 

The committee is hoping that people or other businesses will donate needed materials like premixed cement to repair the foundation, single pane glass and plexi-glass, wood, carpet, electrical wiring and fixtures, display cases, book cases, etc. If materials are not be donated, money will be needed to purchase them. It is estimated the basic materials will cost approximately $10,000.

To apply for a grant to further restore the building, historical information is needed. Your memories of the people, dates and events that took place in the Ruth Community Church are vitally important to the grant process. Information collected will be displayed in the Ruth Museum in scrap books as well as being used to apply for a grant.

If you have any pictures of when the church was being used in Old Ruth and New Ruth, they would help us try to restore the building to its original condition. Your pictures will be digitally scanned and returned to you if you send originals unless you would want to donate them to the museum.

Plans to make items for sale to raise money for restoration purposes are underway. The New Ruth Club will be one of the places that will sell fundraising items for the Church Restoration Project. Products will be available to sell in time for the 2000 All School Reunion. Volunteers are needed to help make items for sale.

A possibility exists that the church can eventually be moved from its present site on Juniper Street to the northeast corner of Main and Sunshine Streets if funds can be raised to do so and White Pine County will accept the donation of property to place the building on. The new location would provide an immediate access of the museum to visitors and provide a positive way to enhance Ruth's Main Street.  

Robert Ream owns the lot and has agreed to start the required legal processes to donate the land to White Pine County for use as a new site for the Museum. Because a licensed building mover must be used, if that service is not donated, it will cost about $30, 000 upward to move the old church to the new site. Plans are in process to apply for grants to move and / or further restore the once it is moved. The building will be used as a museum whether it is moved or not.

Progress Report

After the Ruth Town Council approved the plan at the May meeting, Martin Sorenson offered to present the plan to the White Pine County Commissioners. On June 28, this was done and the Commissioners gave their authorization and support to the project, as long as the following conditions were met:

1. The will be no tax payer money spend on the project, except in the form of grants.
2.  After the remodeling and restoration, the maintenance will be the responsibility of the Ruth Town Council, and costs of maintenance must
come  from donations or from the town council budget.
3. The Building will continue to be property of White Pine County, under the total control of the Ruth Town Council, with final approval for any
major items to be brought before the Commission.
 4. The remodeling and reconstruction, must be done in compliance with the historical aspect of the building.

July 2000.  The building is scraped and ready for painting on the exterior.
                Any financial donations should be made out to White Pine County with a letter earmarking the donations specifically 
                for the Ruth Museum Fund. The money will be placed in a special account to only be used for the benefit of the restoration.

Carol Arndt Papp wrote us saying, “I think that the church was moved to New Ruth before 1958 because I remember my father going to church there with us and he died in 1955.  I know he went to church (Methodist) with us on Easter in that Church because he skipped out for a while and went back home and put bunny (muddy Bunny) tracks all over my mothers clean house and left Easter Presents for us. Then he came back to church.” Wonderful memory-- have you got some too?

"Martin may be right about the name of the women's Group, but the people that I told you about were apart of the Women's group that went to the Ruth Community Church and not the LDS Church. ... Dave Mathis, (Bea's Son) ... said "well, Sis, It was moved between 1951 and 1953 because one year when I was in college that was my summer job moving things to New Ruth and the Church is one thing that we moved" ... It seems to me that may be someone on the bull gang may have brought wood to the church and started the fire in the stove so it would be warm for services. I know they did for everything else." Carol Papp

Does any one know the exact date the church was built in Old Ruth and the date it was moved from Old Ruth to New Ruth?  

Other churches shared the building with the Methodists for services. Does anyone have information on them too? Martin Sorenson wrote, "in reference to the Relief Society question. They were and are a group of women of the LDS church not the Methodist church, they were active in the Ruth LDS ward until it was disbanded and the ward was merged with the Ely first Ward. By the way the church was not only used as a Methodist church, but several other groups used the church for bible studies, throughout they years. I can recall attending bible studies there as a youth in the summers."

Can anyone supply more information on which churches and groups used the old building so they can be included in the history we are gathering on the structure for restoration?

Some past members of the ME Church: (Can you remember others and their full names including the Mrs. first names and perhaps maiden names?)

Virgil and Lois Blackham and daughters Elise Carol and Lois Virginia
Miss Mirth Gooding
Mr. and Mrs Roach, and their daughters Barbara and Georgia
Tom and Helen Malone and their children Tom, Colleen, and Mary Catharine
Mr. and Mrs. Earl Arndt and their children David and Carol Lynn
Mr. And Mrs. Roy Arnn and daughters Lynn and Su Ann
Mr. and Mrs. Linskog and daughters Carla and Carol
Mrs. Lucile Hutton
Mrs. Davis ("One of her daughters was married to Rev. Frank Bradley's sons.")
Dr. William B. and Dunnie Ririe and children Heather and John
Dr. and Mrs. Guire ("His wife played a harp at the women's meetings in the 1950's. They lived just up from the clinic where the road bends. The house has a big picture window in it and the harp use to sit in that window. They were quite young couple. I think he was just out of med. School when they first came to Ruth."
Jeannie Kranovich Murchie
Nick and Juanita Kranovich and children: Joann Kranovich Wilky, Jeanne Kranovich Murchie, and son Bob
Jack and Renee Smith, and son Jerry
Galen Brouse Family

What were the activities of the Relief Society?

The Women’s Book Club and who were members? 

One of the Pastors was Reverend Mondell. Can you name others and the years they were in charge of the church? 

J. E. Huntley                  1938
James Sandberg (?)       1939
Laird V. Loveland          1941
Howard R. Carey          1944
Frank Bradley                1950
Edward Thomas             1968


Will you share any other memories of people or events that took place in regards to the Church? Weddings? Funerals? Special Services? 

Financial support for restoration purposes should be sent to Linda Ream of the New Ruth Club.

This page will be updated to show any progress made on the restoration of the church.

Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Please contact:

Linda Ream
PO Box 344
Ruth, NV 89319
(775) 289-4315


June Shaputis
PO Box 552
Ruth, NV 89319
(775) 289-4075

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