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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Virginia City in Storey County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Storey County Jail

Comstock Historical Maker No. 17

 

—Courthouse South B Street, Virginia City, NV —

 
The Storey County Jail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 23, 2011
1. The Storey County Jail Marker
Click on photo to view close-up of photos displayed on marker. Photo caption reads:

Left photo: South Side of Jail.
Right photo: North Side of Jail. Storey County Sheriff Quirk leaning against the tier post of the lower level of the jail.
(Photos courtesy of the Nevada Historical Society)
Inscription. This two-story jail was completed in 1877, and featured ten individual cells, each of which had bunk beds and “state of the art” plumbing for the day. Women were housed on the second level and men on the first floor until 1963, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that males and females could not occupy the same facility without being physically separated. There was heavy wire mesh strung between the posts of the second level to prevent falls and mingling of inmates.

The jail operated continuously from 1877 until September of 1986, when the county’s insurance carrier decided it was unwise to operate it with only one exit in the event of fire. Inmates were housed at the Carson City Sheriff’s Jail, for a fee, until the current jail was opened in 1992 on the outskirts of town on the “Truck Route – SR341”.

The walls of the jail were covered in boiler plate, after a successful escape in 1897 by an alleged murderer who had worked on the building as a bricklayer. “Red Mike” Langan knew the walls had not been properly filled with rubble material as required, and was able to dig his way out and escape. The county went to great expense to see that this did not happen again.

The doors of the jail were built C.F. Nutting of San Francisco, the same company that supplied all the vaults in the rest of the courthouse. The stone floors are made of “Kate’s Peak Andesite,” a very dense and heavy granite which was quarried from the hills a short distance to the
The Storey County Courthouse; image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 23, 2011
2. The Storey County Courthouse;
The Storey County Jail marker is located on the red, Silver State Peace Officers Museum sign.
east of Virginia City.

This marker sponsored by Bruce & Linda Larson of Virginia City, Nevada who both retired from the Storey County Sheriff’s Office and worked in this jail.
 
Erected by Bruce and Linda Larson and the Comstock Historical Society. (Marker Number 17.)
 
Location. 39° 18.643′ N, 119° 39.017′ W. Marker is in Virginia City, Nevada, in Storey County. Marker is on North B Street. Touch for map. The marker is located at the north-side of the Storey County Courthouse. Marker is in this post office area: Virginia City NV 89440, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Storey County Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Piper’s Opera House (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Piper’s Opera House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Delta (within shouting distance of this marker); The Piper - Beebe House (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of International Hotels (within shouting distance of this marker); The Great Fire of 1875 (within shouting distance of this marker); Chinatown (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia City.
 
Categories. Government
 
The Silver State Peace Officers Museum. image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 23, 2011
3. The Silver State Peace Officers Museum.
The Silver State Peace Officers Museum. image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 23, 2011
4. The Silver State Peace Officers Museum.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 9, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 353 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 9, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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