On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Nevada State Museum celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the Carson City Mint. The Mint contains one of the first ever coin presses used in American history—beginning operation in 1870. Director of United States Mint David J. Ryder will speaking at the event.
The coin press itself, all 12,000 pounds of it, has been on a journey over the past 150 years. While first operating in Carson City, the coin press has traveled to places like Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver when it was borrowed during a national coin shortage. In San Francisco, it was slated to be scrapped, but a plate saying “Virginia and Truckee Railroad” led the sellers to call the Nevada State Museum in 1956, and they were able to purchase the coin press back for $225—the price the scrap material would’ve sold for.
Director of the Nevada State Museum and soon to be Administrator of the Nevada Division of Museums and History Myron Freedman has been working in the industry for over 30 years.
“I’m very lucky to be in the position I’m currently in to be able to witness this historic day,” Freedman said. “David J. Ryder agreeing so enthusiastically just shows what an important day it’s going to be. It will be so interesting getting to watch the coin press in operation after being the only coin press still working in its original home.”
The coin press will produce medallions that are available to anyone who purchases a ticket to the event commemorating the 150-year celebration of the Mint’s opening. Over a century’s worth of history will be made as attendees will have the chance to receive a medallion printed from the same coin press that has made currency for multiple generations of Americans. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak will be in attendance and speaking at the event as well.
“People nowadays are so quick to tear things down to build new, nicer things instead of valuing the history behind them,” Freedman said. “It’s why Nevada is one of the best places to find so much American history and stories that never seemed possible. When we gather in front of the historic doors and enter inside the Museum to the Mint, it will just be an extraordinary celebration of the rich history of Nevada and Carson City.”
Admission is free for everyone on Feb. 4 and the museum will be opening at 8:30 a.m. for the events beginning at 9:45 a.m. The Sesquicentennial Celebration is also sponsored by Coeur Rochester, the Nevada Mining Association and Visit Carson City.