Wednesday, December 26, 2007

'Peek into the past' at Kingman's Bonelli House

[Source: Andraya Whitney, Daily Miner] -- History buffs, longtime Kingman residents and newcomers to the city can all find something interesting in the Bonelli House, located downtown. The house was built in 1915 after the original frame house burned down. Today, it exists in virtually the same condition as when George and Effie Bonelli lived in it, albeit with the addition of some modern conveniences such as heating and cooling. Because the Bonellis first home was lost to a fire, the contractor built the new one with tufa stone and thick, fire resistant plaster to protect against future fire dangers - which also helped to shield the home from extreme heat and cold. Every room was equipped with an exit to the outdoors due to fire safety concerns for the Bonellis' nine children.

The city of Kingman bought the house in 1973 from Joseph Bonelli, one of George's sons. Joseph was still cooking on the coal-fired stove in the kitchen when he turned the home over to the city. That stove remains in place, along with several other heating stoves in the bedrooms and living areas. With the help of a National Historic Preservation Grant and the Daughters of the Mohave County Pioneers, the home was restored for use as a historical museum. Although largely furnished with original belongings of the Bonelli family, some period pieces are also used to fill out the d├ęcor, chosen to represent original pieces that were present in the home. Private individuals donated some of the display items, and others were purchased at local antique shops. "When people come through, they find things that they can relate to, one way or another, and it just really is a great interest to them," said Cathy Kreis, a volunteer with the Mohave County Historical Society.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Daily Miner.]