Sagging building gets lift via grant

By Sunny Lockwood
Union Democrat, July 8, 2005

A decaying Gold Rush-era building, its front wall shored up by wooden beams since last November, is getting a boost that could help save it from this summer’s frying sun and next winter’s drumming rains.

Save the Romaggi Adobe Foundation, headed by Angels Camp resident Adrian Nestor, recently received a $500 grant to fund a structural engineering study on ways to reinforce the old home’s schist rock and adobe walls.

The grant, one of nine awarded to local organizations by the Calaveras Community Foundation, will help Nestor in his quest to restore the last remnant of the once-bustling town of Albany Flat. With its metal roof sagging and holes in two of its 2-foot-thick walls, the Romaggi Adobe sits along Highway 49, south of Angels Camp, looking both impressive and forlorn.

At one time, it was the Romaggi family home. Over the years, the building also included a store, bar and card room. It was, at one time, a stage stop. Nestor envisions restoring the stone walls, wood plank floors and metal roof and turning the building into a Gold Rush family museum.

He said the $500 grant will lead to larger grants. “When I get the engineer’s report, I can go to contractors to see what it would cost to do the work,” he said. “And then I can use those cost estimates to write grant requests for larger amounts.”

Nestor, who has been working to restore the building since 2001, said he was grateful for the grant. “Every little bit helps,” he said.