Carson City ornament features home of founding father |

Carson City ornament features home of founding father

By Teri Vance
The Carson City ornament feayures the Abraham Curry house this year.

Customers have already started coming into the Purple Avocado in Carson City looking for this year’s Carson City ornament featuring the Abraham Curry house.

“We’ve already sold several,” said Stan Jones, who owns the store with his wife, Sue. “When November hits every year, we have people showing up looking for the new ornament. It’s a very popular item.”

Since 2002, the city has released a Christmas Ornament featuring a historic building in town.

This year’s ornament features the Abraham Curry House, named for the founding father of Carson City.

A New York native, Curry moved West chasing adventure and riches and ended up in California in the mid-1800s. Along with his son and partners John Musser, Benjamin Green and Frank Proctor, Curry moved to Eagle Valley in 1858.

There, he bought 1,000 acres and began the process of creating what is now Carson City. He built the Warm Springs Hotel, the prison, the Carson City Mint building and the Virginia and Truckee Railroad shops.

Curry was the first warden of the Nevada Territorial prison and the first Superintendent of the U.S. Mint in Carson City.

He established a sandstone quarry at what would later become the prison. Stones from that quarry were used to build many of the early buildings of the city, including his own home.

His residence, 406 N. Nevada St., was built in 1871, shortly before his death in 1873. The home is No. 32 on the Historic Kit Carson Trial, which highlights the historic homes and business in west Carson City.

Fittingly, stops on the trail have recently been designated with markers made with sandstone from the same quarry. They were created by inmates in the Silver State Industries program in the Nevada Department of Corrections. (Full disclosure: I am the marketing coordinator for Silver State Industries, but it is more than a shameless plug. The markers are a tribute to Curry and what he built here.)

While serving as warden of the prison, he also became involved with the construction of the U.S. Mint. He left the prison to take over as superintendent of the U.S. Mint in 1869.

Curry is credited with the design and construction of his home, which is may be reminiscent of buildings in his home state of New York. The sandstone blocks were dressed with picks, plain chisels and tooth chisels, similar to the construction of the state Capitol.

The ornament is $15 and is available at the Purple Avocado, 904 N. Curry St. as well as Carson City Chamber Artisan Shop, 1900 S. Carson St.; Nevada Legislature Gift Shop, 401 N Carson St.; the Nevada State Museum, 600 N. Carson St.; and Visit Carson City, 716 N. Carson St.

Like the ornaments in past years, it is silver with the name etched above. Last year’s Stewart Indian School is the only ornament with color. This year’s ornament has one difference as well – the date was omitted from the front of the design.

“Unfortunately, the date is on the back of this one,” Jones said.

Past years’ ornaments can also be purchased and include the Stewart Indian School, Foreman-Roberts House, Central School, Laxalt Building, Nevada State Mint, St. Peter’s Church, Bliss Mansion, Capitol, St. Teresa of Avila Church, Governor’s Mansion, St. Charles Hotel, V&T Depot, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church and the Civic Auditorium, the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada, the Nevada State Prison and the Brougher-Bath Mansion.