Indian Commission to paint Stewart's 'S' on Prison Hill

The "S" on Prison Hill in southeast Carson City will soon get a fresh coat of white paint after decades of neglect.

Sherry Rupert, executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission, said she received a letter Wednesday from the Carson City Board of Supervisors supporting the effort.

The Bureau of Land Management, which owns the land, requested the letter from Carson City before granting a right-of-way permit to the commission. The BLM expects to transfer Prison Hill to the city as part of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009.

The commission's office is in Stewart, and its mission is to preserve the history of the school. The Stewart Indian School was the only off-reservation boarding school for Native Americans from 1890 to 1980.

Rupert said people attending the annual powwow in Stewart would always ask her, "Hey, when are you going to paint the 'S'?" and members of the Stewart Advisory Committee thought it would be a worthwhile project.

"So," she said, "we started our research, and the BLM said it would be no problem if the city OK'd it."

Rupert said she isn't sure when the hill was named Prison Hill.

"It wasn't always that, because the school has been here since 1890, and the 'S' was part of the school," she said.

A date has been tentatively set to paint the "S" on June 4.

"We'll have the alumni and committee help, and we hope we can get some donations for supplies. We're a state agency, so we will need money to do this," Rupert said.

She said her husband hiked up to the "C" on C Hill and found that cement bags were laid out in the formation of a "C" and painted white. The bags appeared to provide stability.

"We'll have to find out which will be the best route to get up to the S. I hear it's pretty rugged and that there are rattlesnakes up there, so it will be an adventure," she said.


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