This vintage postcard captures the look of the countryside outside of Carson City, Nevada in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It shows a desert road or dirt road with white fence on one side and what looks like a ranch on the other side. This desert road runs off till you see the Carson City valley in the background.
The large ranch on the right is actually part of the property of Shaw’s Hot Springs, or Warm Springs Hotel, located outside of Carson City and at the time of this postcard, was serving as the Nevada State Prison! If you look closely you can see the guard tower just inside the open gates.
The Nevada State Prison is one of the oldest prisons still in operation in the United States. Established in 1862 when the Nevada Legislature purchased the Warm Springs Hotel and 20 acres of land for $80,000, the prison has been in continuous operation since this time. Abraham Curry, who owned the hotel, was appointed as the first warden.
The original structure burned down in 1867. The postcard is from 1907, but the picture is older and may be of the original prison or the one built after 1867. Rock was quarried at this location to build a new facility as well as several other state buildings including the State Capitol Building in Carson City.
If you want to read a Wild West adventure that took place outside of Carson City and started from the site shown here in this vintage postcard around the time of the picture, Read about the 1871 Prison break and “Convict Lake.”. It is true Nevada, Carson City, Wild West reading!