Gov. Brian Sandoval this week signed two bills important to Carson City, measures recognizing the historical potential and importance of both the old Nevada State Prison and the Stewart Indian School.
AB377 by Assemblyman P.K. O’Neill, R-Carson City, establishes three separate fund raising accounts and a process for creating a museum, historical center and tourist attraction at NSP, which operated from 1861 until 2012 as a Nevada prison. Many of the buildings there are 100-plus years old and Glen Whorton of the NSP preservation group said NSP has huge potential including as an archaeological dig and even a movie set. He said the site has significant historical value since it has been part of Carson City since it opened as a prison three years before Nevada became a state.
AB15 creates an account for the Protection and Rehabilitation of the Stewart Indian School to maintain and operate it as an historic site. To raise money for those projects, the bill authorizes the division of State Lands to sell certain parcels of state land within Carson City. The cash would be put into that account.
Stewart Indian School opened in 1890 with students from the local Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone tribes. Students there learned stone masonry from their teachers and, over the years, constructed numerous buildings on the campus.
The school operated 90 years until it was shut down in 1980 and later acquired by the state. It now houses a number of state agency offices as well as the Nevada Indian Commission. The school is listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places.