Nevada State Prison Gets Historic Designation

Oct 5, 2015

The Nevada State Prison in Carson City has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss has the details.

The Nevada state prison dates back to 1862 and housed inmates for 150 years before shuttering its doors a few years ago because of budget cuts. 

The prison is widely known for sloth footprints discovered there back in 1882. Then, fast forward to 1924, when the prison gained even more attention for being the first in the nation to use gas for executing an inmate. At the time, it was thought of as a less cruel form of capital punishment. 

These are just a couple of reasons why the National Park Service chose to list the site on its National Register of Historic Places, a designation announced Friday.

Glen Whorton, who heads the Nevada State Prison Preservation Society, says they want to see it become a museum with interpretive exhibits, tours, and docents. 

"We believe that such a museum in such a location would be a significant addition to the tourism activities that take place in this state."

Whorton's team is in the early stages of gathering photos and artifacts for future museum displays after a recently passed law set the effort in motion.