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Historical Pink House finds new life

by Aurora Sain
asain@recordcourier.com
A grand opening party was Oct. 15, 2015, at The Pink House, a Gothic Revival style house in Genoa. The house was built in 1855 and is a registered historical landmark.
Brad Coman |

IF YOU GO:

Where: 193 Genoa Lane

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed on Monday

A piece of history has been revamped and turned into a cheese shop, but owners said they tried to stay true to its original roots.

The Pink House in Genoa had a ribbon cutting ceremony recently. The house was built in 1855 and used for many different projects. It is now used for a cheese and charcuterie shop, selling various cheeses, wine, specialty coffee and more.

“My main goal is to be a good steward,” said Pink House owner Lois Wray.

Wray lives in Genoa and noticed that the house needed restoration and decided to take on the project.

In 2004, the house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, adding another treasure to Nevada’s first documented settlement.

Much of the house was restored with original pieces. The front door is the original one, the chimney is original and so are the windows, said Lorrie Grannis, who does the accounting for the Pink House.

The house will hold 27 people seated and they have seven employees, said Grannis.

After studying the demographic of the local area, and visiting Wedge Cheese Shop in Reno, Wray decided that this was a business that would work well in Genoa.

“The first goal was to honor the house and honor the community,” said Wray.

The celebration included music, drinks and an appearance from Lillian Virgin Finnegan, as portrayed by Kim Copél.

Finnegan played a big role in Genoa’s history, including starting the Candy Dance and fighting for women’s right to vote as a suffragette, said Copel.

“She’s very interesting,” said Copél. “She was also very well liked.”

The business was originally supposed to open in September, but the custom restorations took longer than expected, said Wray.

Wray said Jack Hall Construction took the time to make sure everything was perfect for opening day.

Several rooms inside and plenty of outdoor seating were crafted to make sure everyone feels like they are experiencing a little piece of history.

“I’m not a big deal,” said Wray. “But this is a big deal.”

According to the National Register of Historic Places, the home was built by Mormon Station Founder John Reese not long after the town’s founding.

It was purchased in 1870 by Genoa merchant J.R. Johnson, who moved it to its present location. It was the longtime home of Douglas County Judge Daniel Webster Virgin, father to Lillian.