Libby native Dhana Tevebaugh Nelson emphasized that she is pro-mining and her new business in Libby will encourage people to buy gold and silver as an investment.
There is another reason she believes in the value of precious metals, especially silver.
Someday, if everything goes to heck in a handbasket, silver could serve as a viable currency, she said.
Dhana Nelson has shared this conviction with like-minded people in an international community of “preppers.” According to BePrepared.com, “Preppers are those who actively prepare for all types of emergencies, from natural disasters to civil unrest. They often acquire items such as emergency medical supplies, food and water and more.”
Dhana and Jeff Nelson and their family left Libby after an economic disaster of sorts. Stimson closed the lumber mill in 2003.
They moved to Kalispell. In November, the Nelsons came home.
Dhana Nelson said the couple could have launched their business in the Flathead Valley but wanted to invest in their hometown.
They are paying contractors to construct a new building near the railroad station on Mineral Avenue. On Friday, men with Hughes Construction directed the flow of concrete into forms built for the foundation of what will be a structure of about 1,000 square feet. The lot provides room to expand.
Dhana Nelson said the design of what will be a free standing stone and brick building was inspired, in part, by a stone building at the Bayhorse Ghost Town in Idaho.
She said the sturdy design also will provide security for her work with gold and silver.
“I want security,” she said. “I want fire safety.”
Those concerns helped motivate the couple to build something new rather than renovate an existing building downtown, she said.
Dhana Nelson works too as a real estate agent. She said she also will sell antiques and provide classes on train safety.
She acknowledged that she and Jeff consider themselves “preppers.”
“We’re not like extreme, but we’re aware of the vulnerabilities of our society,” she said.