Cooler gets lease on life

The Nevada State Prison Preservation Society—yes, there is one—won passage of a bill at the Nevada Legislature that seeks a new future for the state’s first prison.

Assembly Bill 377, sponsored by Republican Assemblymember Philip O'Neill, sets up a trust fund in the Board of Museums and History while plans are developed for the Nevada State Prison (NSP) in Carson City. The grounds were the site of the Warm Springs Hotel, where the state's constitutional conventions were held. There are footprints from the late Pleistocene on the grounds. A cave was used for solitary confinement until it was ordered closed by Gov. Grant Sawyer on his first visit to the prison in 1959. The facility played the part of a California prison in the Tom Selleck movie An Innocent Man.

The execution room can no longer be used because the stairs to the witness room are out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.