Editor’s note: Some local residents have provided happy and poignant memories of longtime local artist and preservationist Charles Woods, who passed away on Thursday, on this blog. Here they are:
•What a loss for our community and what an indelible mark he has left on Nevada City: some equivalent to “It’s a Wonderful Life.” You will be missed by many, Charles. Thank you for dreaming up such a wonderful community for all.
•An amazing man that leaves a BIG legacy! God bless.
•In 1975 I had the good fortune to meet Charles Woods at his American Victorian Museum on Spring Street in Nevada City. Having had the privilege of his friendship over these many years, a number of his unique qualities come to mind.
One was his incredibly generous, kind spirit. The Victorian Museum, now known as Miners Foundry, was a wide open, rocking, happening place with a full bar and restaurant. Anyone that needed something to do (or eat) could find a mission there that would get you through the day.
This kindness was extended to anyone who cared to or needed to accept it. At Charles Woods’ Victorian Museum you could get a job, create a project or host a fundraiser with a zero degree of difficulty.
Another amazing thing about Charles (and his partner David Osborn)
was his almost total lack of concern with the practicality of a potential project.
This quality combined with his substantial artistic capabilities allowed him to create a cultural center out of a factory, start a radio station, build a covered bridge on dry land, and convert a little house on Broad Street into a Teddy Bear Castle, complete with a moat and draw bridge.
His vision, imagination and accompanying skill sets were almost without bounds. Lucky for us he found his way to Nevada City.
•I have many fond memories of the Osborn/Woods store on Commercial St., going back to my teen years. It was the forerunner of the Gray Goose and all the other quirky gift stores that now exist downtown. The building next door (on the corner) housed the Selective Services (draft) offices.
•David and Charles brought a sense of sophistication to Nevada City early on with their beautiful graphic design work. Their vision for Osborn & Woods and the American Victorian Museum was brought to life because of their keen eye for aesthetics and historic preservation. Charles’ talent and gentle nature graced the streets of our town, and he will be remembered always by the legacy that he left.