The Nevada State prison as a museum
The Nevada State Prison Preservation Society (NSPPS) is a nonprofit Nevada corporation [see note] established to preserve Nevada’s oldest prison as a museum. The prison is located in Carson City, Nevada, the Silver State’s capital.
The Society’s mission is “To preserve and maintain the decommissioned Nevada State Prison for the education of present and future generations as to the history and use of the prison”.
About the prison
The prison is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Fifth Street and Interstate 580 (State Highway 395). It is approximately 2 miles from the state capital and visible from the interstate. It is closed and under lock and key but it is approachable. You can park in its parking lot and walk up to the main gate and guard tower for a look inside.
Opened in 1862 as a prison, it is the third oldest prison in the country, west of the Mississippi, behind San Quentin (1852) and Alcatraz (late 1850s).
The Nevada State Prison (NSP) was closed to inmates on January 4, 2012 and officially decommissioned on May 18, 2012 [click here].
It is the site of the first gas chamber in the world which was first used in 1924. In total, there have been three gas chambers of various construction within NSP. The last constructed gas chamber, #3, is still ‘active’ as an execution chamber using lethal injection. It was last used as a gas chamber in 1979. Thirty two inmates have experienced the wrath of the gas chamber and another eleven others have been executed in the chamber by lethal injection with the last execution in 2006.
The on site quarry provided sandstone for many of Carson City’s oldest buildings including public building of the State of Nevada.
Nevada’s automobile license plates will continue to be made at NSP into January 2015 when manufacturing will be moved to Northern Nevada Correction Center also located in Carson City.
There’s a lot more history to be learned here. There are the fossilized footprints, the “Bull Pen” casino, the hot springs, the Warm Springs Hotel, the ‘cave’ and more. History lives within NSP’s gates.
The prison Museum NEEDS YOU!
Without your help, involvement and donations it will be a very difficult journey to protect this landmark. We encourage your full support to bring this museum project to fruition and further help the efforts to make Nevada a traveler's destination.
We would like you to join the NSPPS and get involved; here is the application form. Call 775-722-0394 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We would like you to contact your local and state representatives and tell them to support the NSP preservation effort and to support the upcoming 2015 NSP preservation legislation.
We would like you to make a tax deductible donation [see note] to help fund this project. Checks may be sent to NSPPS, PO Box 1991, Carson City, NV 89702.
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As an overall part of this preservation project the Society is currently working with local and state officials and other interested parties:
- Assembly Bill AB356, introduced by Assemblyman Peter Livermore, passed through the legislative process and was signed into law by Governor Sandoval on May 21, 2013 and became effective July 1, 2013
- Members are participating in the NSP Steering Committee which has created a finalized report for delivery back to the 78th session of the Legislature in 2015. The delivery of the report was requested in AB356.
- Legislation will be delivered to the 78th Legislature as a result of the report with a set of preservation recommendation going forward.
The Nevada State Prison Preservation Society (NSPPS) is an IRS recognized tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation formed and operating in the State of Nevada and registered with the Secretary of State. The organization's primary purposes are to preserve and maintain the Nevada State Prison for the education of present and future generations as to the history and use of the prison. The NSPPS is also authorized to engage in any other lawful activities that further the exempt purpose of the society. Your donation may be tax deductible pursuant to the provisions of 26 USC Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.