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Historic mansion on market

Sally Roberts
sroberts@nnbw.biz
The historic Brougher-Bath Mansion in Carson City is an example of Queen Anne architecture with its round porch and turret.
Courtesy Chase International |

A grand piece of Carson City history is for sale.

The Brougher-Bath Mansion at 204 W. Spear Street in the historic district of Carson City went on the market last month. The asking price for the meticulously restored Queen Anne-style house is $1,085,000, near the 2006 purchase price.

“It’s just a wonderful property,” said Don Harmer, who purchased it 10 years ago for the offices of Corporate Services Network, which manages incorporation services in the state. “It’s beautiful from the outside but to really appreciate it, you’ve got to see the inside.”

Originally constructed in 1903-1904 by state Senator Wilson Brougher, the 3,307- square-foot mansion is the only example of Queen Anne-style architecture in historic Carson City and one of the best examples in the region. The mansion is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Queen Anne-style elements include a round, two-story porch and round turret, a stone foundation and prominent chimneys. High Victorian elements are seen in the cornice detailing and Greek Revival-style Ionic columns support the upper front porch balcony and roof.

Harmer, only the fourth owner of the property, purchased the mansion from Carlita Ray, who purchased the then-deteriorating property in 2000 and meticulously restored it.

“As the floor was taken up to refinish, each board was numbered so it could be put back the way it was,” said Missy McQuattie, an agent with Chase International Commercial Properties who is co-listing the mansion with Torry Johnson on behalf of the seller.

“When you see these beautiful (historic mansions) on the outside, it doesn’t mean they’ve been preserved on the inside,” Johnson said. “Often the period details have been stripped away.”

That’s not true of the Brougher-Bath Mansion.

Except for some modern amenities, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms, it’s almost 100 percent preserved, Johnson said, and additional historic pieces are being kept from harm’s way in the basement.

When Ray purchased the mansion, she had plans to make it into a bed-and-breakfast.

At the time she sold the property in 2006, Ray told the Nevada Appeal that she was using it for events such as weddings and business meetings, but the enterprise did not work out.

“I love that house so much,” Ray told the Appeal. “I felt I wasn’t doing her justice for the future. I think I was meant to do the restoration, but someone else was meant to come in and give her a future.”

In 2006, Harmer’s firm was sharing space in the historic Clemens house, built by Mark Twain’s brother, with the law offices of Smith and Harmer, Ltd, owned by his father-in-law and wife. Having outgrown that space, Harmer was looking for a place to relocate when the Brougher-Bath Mansion a couple blocks away hit the market.

The mansion has provided an elegant office for 10 years. Now he is looking for new office space for a different reason.

“We haven’t outgrown it, we’ve out evolved it,” Harmer said noting the need for higher technology than the home can easily accommodate. With clients throughout the world, the company conducts much of its business through video-conferencing. Current wireless technology does not provide the quality needed, he said. “I don’t want to be running wires through the house.”

The historic features of the Brougher-Bath Mansion are worth preserving and they tell a story from the history of Carson City and Nevada.

Wilson Brougher came to Tonopah as a 21-year-old, first making a meager living as a wood cutter then working in merchandising.

Brougher’s fortunes changed when he and some friends pooled their money to invest in a silver mine. He eventually had an interest in about eight mines, according to a 1904 biography in “A History of the State of Nevada: Its Resources and People” by Thomas Wren. With his wealth secure, he did a stint as sheriff of Nye County. He later moved to Carson City, purchased the lush Arlington Hotel (which burned down in the 1970s) and ran for the state senate.

Brougher served in the Nevada Senate from 1902 to 1906.

In 1936, Brougher sold the mansion to Carson City Postmaster Ernest Bath, who liked its proximity to the Carson City post office, a block away. Bath would stand on the round porch and listen to the chimes from the post office to set his pocket watch, Johnson said.

The Bath family lived in the mansion for 40 years, before it was left to deteriorate.

Thanks in large part to Ray’s restoration of the mansion it’s again an eye-catching example of the beautiful homes in Carson City’s historic district.

Since being listed for sale May 20, the Brougher-Bath Mansion has been attracting a lot of interest via phone calls, emails and website hits. So far, interest has mainly been from people curious about the beautiful yellow Victorian with the rounded porches, Johnson and McQuattie said.

Zoned for Downtown Multiuse and Residential Office, the agents are marketing it to a broad audience.

The mansion has handicap access to the ground floor, making it applicable for professional offices, an art gallery, or even a museum, and it’s roomy enough to use as both a residence and office.

“We’re going to caste a wide net, there are so many potential uses for this house,” Johnson said.

The listing for the Brougher-Bath Mansion can be found at: http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/19795624/204-W-Spear-St-Carson-City-NV/.


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