Nevada State Prison Preservation Society

NSPPS LogoThe Nevada State prison as a museum

The Nevada State Prison Preservation Society (NSPPS) is a nonprofit   Nevada corporation [see note] established to preserve Nevada’s oldest prison as a museum. The prison is located in Carson City, Nevada’s capitol.

The Society’s mission is “To preserve and maintain the decommissioned Nevada State Prison for the education of present and future generations as to the history and use of the prison”.

About the prison

The prison is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Fifth Street and State Highway 395 (Interstate 580). It is about 2 miles from the state capitol and visible from the highway. It is closed and under lock and key but it is approachable. You can park in its parking lot and walk up to the main gate and guard tower for a look inside.

Built in 1862 it is the third oldest prison in the country, west of the Mississippi, behind San Quentin (1852) and Alcatraz (late 1850s).

NSP was closed to inmates on January 4, 2012 and officially closed/decommissioned on May 18, 2012 [click here].

It is the site of the first gas chamber in the world which was first used in 1924. In total, there have been three gas chambers of various construction within NSP. The last constructed gas chamber, #3, is still ‘active’ as an execution chamber using lethal injection. It was last used as a gas chamber in 1979. Thirty two inmates have experienced the wrath of the gas chamber [click here] and another eleven others have been executed in the chamber by lethal injection.

The onsite quarry provided sandstone for many of Carson City’s oldest buildings including public building of the State of Nevada.

Nevada’s automobile license plates will continue to be made at NSP into 2015 when manufacturing will be moved to Northern Nevada Correction Center.

There’s a lot more to be learned here. There are the fossilized footprints, the “Bull Pen” casino, the hot springs, the hotel, the ‘cave’ and more. History lives within NSP’s gates.

The prison Museum NEEDS YOU!

Without your help, involvement and donations it will be a very difficult journey to protect this landmark. We encourage your full support to bring this museum project to fruition and further help the efforts to make Nevada a traveler's destination.

We would like you to join the NSPPS and get involved. Call 775-722-0394 or email for more information.

We would like you to contact your local and state representatives and tell them to support this effort rather than letting another piece of history disappear.

We would like you to make a tax deductible donation [see note below] to help fund this project. Checks may be sent to NSPPS, PO Box 1991, Carson City, NV  89702.


As an overall part of this preservation project the Society is currently working with local and state officials:

  • Assembly Bill AB356, introduced by Assemblyman Peter Livermore, passed through the legislative process and was signed into law by Governor Sandoval on May 21, 2013 and became effective July 1, 2013
  • Members are participating in a Steering Committee which has created a (draft) plan for delivery back to the 78th session of the Legislature in 2015. The delivery of the plan was requested in AB356.
  • A Bill Draft Request (BDR) will be delivered to the 78th Legislature as a result of the plan.

The Nevada State Prison Preservation Society (NSPPS) is an IRS recognized tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation formed and operating in the State of Nevada and registered with the Secretary of State. The organization's primary purposes are to preserve and maintain the Nevada State Prison for the education of present and future generations as to the history and use of the prison. The NSPPS is also authorized to engage in any other lawful activities that further the exempt purpose of the society.  Your donation may be tax deductible pursuant to the provisions of 26 USC Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

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