- Associated Press - Sunday, March 27, 2016

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - The historic Nevada State Prison in Carson City will open for tours next month.

Tours will start April 16 as a fundraiser for the Carson City Chamber of Commerce, according to The Nevada Appeal (https://bit.ly/21NDGqs).

Former prison director Glen Whorton, who is also head of the prison’s preservation society, said he hopes to then start public tours two to three days a week in late April or early May.

“Actually we’re engaged in training tour guides as we speak,” he said. “Besides training folks we have to settle a couple of issues with the state fire marshal and public works.”

Several of them are former corrections employees who worked at the prison. Whorton said he hopes some of the former employees will be able to add personal stories and anecdotes to the script to help visitors learn about how the prison operated for 150 years.

The prison opened in 1862, before Nevada gained statehood, and operated as the state’s only correctional institution until 1964. It closed to inmates in January 2012 and was formally decommissioned later that year. It is the third oldest prison west of the Mississippi, preceded only by San Quentin and Alcatraz in California.

Lawmakers approved a bill last year that set up a process for the state to designate portions of the complex for cultural use such as tours.

Preservation advocates said the prison is filled with historical appeal, and Whorton said the site is even drawing interest from filmmakers as a potential set. “Ghost Adventures” has already filmed an episode there for the Travel Channel, and other shows have expressed interest.


Information from: Nevada Appeal, https://www.nevadaappeal.com

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