Posted: Jan 21, 2013 6:54 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
Updated: Jan 21, 2013 6:55 PM
BUTTE-Butte possesses around 100 ghost signs, and many of them are weathering away.
"There's very few collections like what we have here. We need to take a more active effort to take care of them going into the future," says Historical Preservation Officer Jim Jarvis.
Butte's Ghost Signs were the common way of advertising products or a business.
The hay day of these signs ran from around from 1900 to 1920 but were still being made into the 1950s.
They are found from the flats to Walkerville, but about 30 of them are found in the uptown area.
The signs have been a discussion topic for a few decades because they're fading away.
Jarvis is figuring out what to do with these signs. There are three options.
The signs can either be left to their natural state and possibly disappear over time.
Jarvis says, "We don't want to lose them totally due to weathering, but by the same token we don't want to give a false impression by making them look shiny, new."
Or for $10,000 to $15,000 the ghost signs could be repainted.
"There are professionals that specialize in that field of very gently kind of cleaning and repainting the signs," says Jarvis.
The third option would be to have them touched up with a protective coating and still have that weathered look for $25,000 to $30,000.
Jarvis adds, this would be like, "Conservation, treating them almost like a piece of fine art in that you're just going to touch them up and stabilize them."
Several signs are painted on privately owned buildings, and the historic preservation office will have to work with property owners to preserve the signs.
Jarvis is reviewing funding options.
He will prioritize the ghost signs based off the amount of funding received.