VIRGINIA CITY, NV - It started as a labor of love, and grew into one of the country's biggest collections of law enforcement history. The Silver State National Peace Officers Museum is now closed for the season, and it could stay that way, unless visitors spread the word and help find support for the project.
The museum is located in what once was the Storey County jail. While it's the perfect space for an exhibit like this, the location isn't ideal."One of our challenges is we're a block off the main street," explains Executive Director Doug Gist, "and when people on the main street look up, there's a 100-foot steep hill, and they tend to not want to come up. And they're missing out on a real jewel. The collection dates all the way back to the 1700s. Gist and his father, both former peace officers, were also collectors. Before his father's death, Gist promised to put their combined collections on display.
It's a seasonal operation, and relies heavily on donations to keep the doors open."Funding is tight," Gist says. "We let kids in for free because we want families to come, so you can't operate a museum with just admission." The hope is more donations will come in the off season from visitors who enjoyed the ever-changing collection
Although it's closed for the season, the museum will be open the weekend of December 7th as Virginia City celebrates Christmas on the Comstock. For more information about the Silver State National Peace Officers Museum, check out the link below.