Former Nevada City councilman dead at age 85 |

Former Nevada City councilman dead at age 85

Nevada City bade farewell to a former city councilman who served the town during the pivotal, tumultuous 1960s.

Benjamin Barry, who died Sunday, served on the City Council from 1960 to 1968, a time when Grass Valley and Nevada City were reeling from the closure of gold mines.

“It’s hard for people to comprehend now, but the two towns were shutting down economically,” said Beryl Robinson, who served with Barry as a councilman and later as city manager. “Nevada City wasn’t doing well.”

Barry played a role in the controversial move to bring Highway 49 through town – a decision that pulled up historical buildings but also better connected Nevada City to its neighbors and facilitated commerce.

“He just loved the town,” Robinson said. “He was very dedicated, not only to his city, but to his country.”

As a U.S. Marine, Barry fought in the Pacific during World War II. He also worked as a Nevada City firefighter and Nevada City police officer, and he was a longtime high school history teacher, coach and administrator.

His legacy is one of service, family members said Wednesday.

“He was a man of values, and he stuck to them,” said his son, Dennis Barry.”He was the most honorable person I’ve ever met.”

To contact Staff Writer Michelle Rindels, e-mail or call (530) 477-4247.

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