Carson City sits in the center of one of the most scenic
and historic areas in the country, making it the perfect
starting point for sightseeing.
The habitat of the Eastern Sierra must have been a
welcome refuge for explorers Kit Carson and John C.
Fremont as they rode into Eagle Valley during their 1840s
quest to map the West.
To the east, long stretches of desert mark the difficult
terrain settlers had to endure to get here. To the west, the
Sierra Nevada mountains stretch out as a gateway to the
During that time, Northern Nevada saw its first wave of
white settlers. The Bidwell-Bartleson party is believed to
have made their way through the area in 1841. Westbound
traffic increased, spurred by the big boom of 1848-1849
when the discovery of California gold ignited the frontier
spirit and transformed Eagle Valley.
By 1851, Eagle Station, a trading post and small ranch on the Carson Branch of the California Emigrant Trail,
served as a stopover for travel-weary gold prospectors.
According to historical accounts, the station and surrounding valley took their names from an eagle shot by Frank
Hall with his ball-and-cap Colt and mounted on the trading post wall. Frank, brother W.L. Hall and George
Jollenshee ran the ranch, located at the current site of Fifth and Thompson streets.
In 1858 Abraham Curry bought Eagle Station when he found lots in Genoa to be too expensive. Carson City's
future designation as a capital was largely the fruit of Curry's labor. He left a 10-acre plaza in the city center for
his predicted location of the state capitol as he laid plans for the city's future.
In 1859, gold prospectors hit silver in the hills east of Carson City. The Comstock Lode, as it was called, was the
largest silver find in world history. Tens of thousands of miners poured into Carson City and Virginia City.
In the 1860's, Carson City was a station on the Pony Express and the Overland mail under both Butterfield and
Wells, Fargo and Co. In 1861, true to Curry's prediction, and largely because of his shrewd maneuvers, Carson City
became the capital of the Nevada Territory.
Despite its small population and expansive territory (Nevada is the seventh largest state), statehood was inevitable.
War was brewing in the east, and Nevada's wealth, as well as its congressional votes, would prove vital to the
Union war effort. Nevada was granted statehood on Oct. 31, 1864. Each year Nevada's "Battle Born" roots are
celebrated in Carson City with the Nevada Day parade.
Prosperity continued when the Big Bonanza, another major silver strike, was discovered in 1873. Construction of the V&T Railroad served the mines by transporting ore and timber.
In 1859 the Comstock Lode
silver strike was discovered,
sparking the first major wave
of emigration into the area.
Carson City was named after
the Carson River by city father
Abraham Curry in 1860.
In 1861 the Nevada Territory
was formed, and Carson made
Nevada was granted statehood
on Oct. 31, 1864.
Of the 17 counties in Nevada,
only Carson City and Virginia
City have remained county seats
since the beginning of statehood.
8am to 9am
Begin your day with a great breakfast at Mom & Popís Diner in the heart of the historic district, right next to the St. Charles Hotel. (Localís hint: Donít miss the cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing!)...
9am to 10am
After breakfast take a stroll on the Kit Carson Trail. A blue line is painted on the sidewalks, perfect for a self guided walking tour. Maps and a Talking House CD are available at the Visitors Center, or you can download them from our web site. Click for More