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State funds aid Dana Adobe project in Nipomo

Marina Washburn instects the concrete that will come off the outside of the Dana Adobe as part of a new cash award.  in Nipomo.  photo Jayson Mellom 4-16-10
Marina Washburn instects the concrete that will come off the outside of the Dana Adobe as part of a new cash award. in Nipomo. photo Jayson Mellom 4-16-10 The Tribune

With the help of a state grant, the restoration of the Dana Adobe is expected to be completed in about two years, giving visitors a better glimpse of what life was like in the 19th century and capping an eight-year effort to save and protect the historic structure.

The $330,960 grant will help to complete the reconstruction of the kitchen, the milking room, the store room and the courtyard at the adobe in Nipomo, which was a regular stop for stagecoaches after its completion in 1851.

“This is a huge step forward for our organization,” said Joe Dana, the great-great-grandson of Capt. William Goodwin Dana, who built the adobe.

Last year, he said, more than 1,100 students visited the adobe on field trips.

“The grant will make the experience we can offer the kids that much better,” said Dana, principal of Ralph Dunlap Elementary School in Orcutt.

This is the second award the Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos group has received from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment.

A grant in 2008 of $861,167 helped the non-profit group purchase 29 acres around the adobe and will allow it to shingle the roof and restore the cupola and veranda, said Marina Washburn, DANA executive director.

Eventually, the group would like to buy 20 additional acres for a community park and build a visitors center, she said.

“It’s one of those projects that’s received communitywide support,” said county Supervisor Katcho Achadjian. “It’s been a real journey but there’s more to be (done) to finish the project completely. We need all the help we can get.”

The organization still needs to raise the rest of the funds required in order to use the state grant. Washburn said the organization so far has about 60 percent of the $210,690 needed.

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