The Warm Springs Hotel
Original Date Visited: 9/7/07
Signed: Both lanes of E. Fifth Street
Notes: Before the construction of the I-580 freeway through Carson City in 2009 the marker's primary access via Fifth Street used to be a two lane drive that passed right in front of the prison. Today, Fifth Street crosses the freeway on an overpass just shy of the marker's present location and finding this one can be a tricky. Look for a frontage road signed as "State Prison" from E. Fifth Street and follow it around to the former prison's entrance. Interesting enough NDOT kept this marker well-signed even throughout the year-long construction of the freeway. Thankfully, the signs were never removed helping hunters find this mighty elusive marker.
We revisited this marker in 2011 before the closing of the prison in 2012 and was met by the lieutenant supervising the grounds. He had sent one of his men from the watchtower to intercept me sternly asking me to leave the premises. This is arrogance on his part considering the parking lot of the prison grounds were public property. They were mostly afraid that whatever images I was shooting would be detremental to security. Although I can understand the reasoning behind this, this is unfortunate for the marker. Before we left, I showed the guy what images I had taken. ALthough the prison is now closed be warned that you be met with the same hospitality by the local sheriff who often patrols the prison grounds. For this reason, I believe this marker should be moved to a more public location to avoid any of conflict. Until then, treat this marker as you would a marker placed on private property.
Built about 1860, the Warm Springs Hotel was used by Nevada's First Territorial Legislature as a meeting place in 1861. The structure was built from hand-hewn sandstone taken from a nearby quarry. An imposing edifice in its day, the building typified the enterprise of the owner, Abe Curry. He and his business partners surveyed the site of Carson City, were farsighted enough to leave space for a state capitol building while the area was a part of Utah, and attracted incoming merchants to their tiny community.
In 1862, the hotel was leased by Nevada Territory and used for holding prisoners. Two years later, the property was purchased and became the State Prison. During 1867, the hotel was destroyed by fire. Present prison facilities occupy the ground where the hotel was situated.
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