Published on November 23, 2013 by Amy
The Stewart Indian School (1890-1980) was an Indian school southeast of Carson City, NV. The school was a part of the Native American boarding schools project, infamous for removing children from their families, forbidding the speaking of native languages, sexual abuse, and other forms of harsh treatment. The school was named for Nevada’s first senator, William M. Stewart and opened on December 17, 1890. It has also been known as Stewart Institute, Carson Industrial School, and Carson Indian School. The school opened with 37 students from Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone tribes and was staffed by 3 teachers. Students were taught basic educational classes but focused on vocational skills such as agriculture, ranching and carpentry.
As the school grew, superintendent Frederick Snyder transformed the school into an architectural in horticultural showplace in the 1920s. Snyder used native stones for the colonial architecture of the school buildings while the masonry was the work of the students. The school grew to include over 63 buildings, a 10,000 gallon swimming pool and a platform for the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. The school closed in 1980 due to Federal budget cuts and earthquake safety.
Today, much of the facility still stands and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985; the listing included 63 contributing buildings and one contributing structures.
The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California established the Stewart Indian Colony on the grounds of and adjacent to the former school. The State of Nevada uses some of the buildings for state sponsored classes, training centers and agency offices such as the Department of Corrections. A walking tour describes the former campus and relics of the school are on display at the Nevada State Museum, Carson City.