Lock down prison’s future now
January 12, 2012
Here’s an idea for an attraction at what might become the Nevada State Prison museum. How about having tourists stamp license plates? Or touring the first gas chamber in the United States?
On Monday the last inmates left the prison, leaving another big empty building overlooking Carson City.
But there are some folks who think that a museum would be a good use for the ancient pile of sandstone quarried from the site in 1867.
The prison has been the source of all Nevada’s license plates since 1928, and until Monday was one of the oldest prisons in use in the United States.
For a long time a tour of the prison was part of the Douglas County social studies curriculum according to retired teacher Myron Carpenter.
Carpenter said he felt a tour of the prison served as an important lesson to his students, some of whom may have taken a different path.
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That aside, the prison is a huge part of Nevada history and the history of Western Nevada.
It’s not Douglas’ place to say what happens to the prison in Carson City, but we know that there’s a bigger lesson here for all of us, not just all those history students.
We believe that our history will secure our future. Finding a use for the now abandoned state prison is a key to that future. Converting Nevada State Prison into some sort of tourist attraction is an opportunity that should be locked down quickly.