Teri Vance: Kit Carson markers win historic award


The Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority (Visit Carson City) was presented with the 2021 Historic Preservation Award for its “outstanding contribution to historic preservation efforts in Carson City.”
The award was presented by the Historic Resources Commission during last week’s Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting for the sandstone markers that designate the homes along the Kit Carson Trail.
The trail, which highlights the historic buildings throughout Carson City’s West Side Historic District, was once marked by a blue line in the sidewalk.
With the removal of the blue line, Visit Carson City was tasked with finding an alternate system to mark the 47 stops along the trail, noting historic buildings, homes, churches and other sites.
While I love most all things related to Carson City and its history, this one is particularly special to me. I had recently started my job as marketing coordinator of Silver State Industries – the industrial arm of the Nevada Department of Corrections – when David Peterson, executive director of Visit Carson City, approached me about this idea.
It was the perfect partnership as the sandstone used to build many of the city’s original buildings was quarried at the Nevada State Prison.
Over the course of a little more than a year, we collaborated with Visit Carson City and the Carson City Historic Resources Commission to come up with the size and design of the markers.
I couldn’t be more proud of the inmate workers at Northern Nevada Correctional Center who brought the concept to life.
“It was absolutely fun to work on,” said a worker who has been with SSI for 13 years. “It’ll be seen by a lot of people for a long time. It was really cool to be able to work through the challenges to put a good product out there.”
The sandstones are each about 2-by-1-feet-by-8-inches. Each site’s name is engraved and powder coated on brushed 60/61 aluminum. Repurposed medallions from Carson Street are embedded into the sandstone. Carson City Public Works Department created platforms to install the markers in the planting strips in front of the historic homes.
The Kit Carson Trail encompasses about 70 acres at the historic core of Nevada’s capital city. Most of the city’s surviving early houses were constructed to the west of Carson Street, where there is a concentration today that forms the historic district.
The period of significance begins in 1858 and concludes in 1945 with the shift to post-war architectural traditions.
If you haven’t seen them, now is the perfect time to check them out. Learn about each home along trail and download the map at visitcarsoncity.com or pick one up at 716 N. Carson St.
The weather is perfect to take a stroll along the trail. Add a little adventure and challenge to it by participating in the year’s scavenger hunt hosted by the Historic Resources Commission. Find the details at https://www.carson.org/government/departments-a-f/community-development/planning-division/current-planning-zoning/historic-resources-commission/historic-resources-scavenger-.

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