Describing Abe Curry as the “father of Carson City” only hints at the many roles the pioneer played in the establishment of Nevada’s capital.
Today, the Nevada State Prison Preservation Society will host a presentation by Glen Whorton on the life of Curry, the man who shaped much of what Carson City has become today.
The talk at 6:30 p.m. in the Ormsby Room of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, 911 E. Musser St., is free and open to the public. It will be part of NSPPS’s general membership meeting.
As the first warden of Nevada State Prison, Curry is key to the history the NSPPS is working to preserve.
But as Whorton is to describe, Curry’s leadership is stamped on much of Carson City’s identity.
The New York-born Curry crossed the Sierra Nevada from California in 1858 and became co-owner of Eagle Valley Ranch. He donated 10 acres for the site of a capitol, became a territorial assemblyman and eventually was also the first superintendent of the Carson City Mint.
His Warm Springs Hotel, leased to house prisoners, became the site of the prison and Curry was the warden.
Friday’s talk by Whorton, former director of the Nevada Department of Correction and president of NSPPS, which was formed to preserve the historic prison on Carson City’s east side.
The prison was built in 1862 and is the third-oldest in the West, after only San Quentin and Alcatraz. It was decommissioned in May, 2012.
For more information on NSPPS and membership, visit www.nspps.org. You may also write to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply attend the talk on Dec. 12.
Tax deductible donations given to NSPPS, a 501(c)(3) public charity and Nevada chapter 82 nonprofit organization, are used for the preservation of the prison.
NSPPS has plans to preserve the historic portions of the prison and its unusual features, such as the original ‘hole‘ — a dungeon-like cave where the worst prisoners were isolated — and the quarry from which stones for several state buildings were mined.
The prison property also contains fossilized footprints of prehistoric animals, an execution chamber where 32 people have died, and the site of the world’s first gas-execution chamber in 1924.