Carson City

Our Little Capitol

The Markers Statistics

So, why an eagle? And, what's in the name of Carson City? The valley we know today as Eagle Valley has one of the longest recorded histories in the Silver State. Here we have the little capitol that could, against all odds -- one that brims with stories to tell. Imagine the headlines: an elaborate flume system, old mansions decorated with wealth from the Comstock, the funding of an unexpected state capitol. All of these may be just a few stepping stones in the building of Carson City.

The area that came to be known as "Carson" has always been a favored spot among travelers, emigrants, ranchers, and wagon trains, as early as 1851. This was an area commonly referred to as a "swamp" and a "mudhole," yet the valley became an ideal place for raising cattle. Around 1858, the area's first settlers turned into lone entrepreneurs of the region who set up shop to service the vast and unsettled western reaches of then Utah Territory. Oh, and of that "eagle?" It was a hunter who christened the name, so proud of his kill he mounted the bird on a post overlooking his station.

This little city loves making due and humbles itself as one of the last classic small towns in America. Despite its mini population, Carson remains fully in charge of America's seventh largest state and in this case America, size doesn't matter ... as much as small town elegance, scenic surroundings, and oh so sweet heritage. It may not care about neon overkill, a dizzying interstate, or even a flowery self sales pitch. Carson City is simply Carson City ... with plenty of sugar and spice. 150 years can't be wrong!

(c) Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis

The Markers
The casual marker hunter will find most of Carson City's markers set right in the city's downtown strip, many of them accessible by foot only. In 2013, city planners have worked diligently in a revitalization of Carson's downtown scene, centering around a complete re-construction of Carson Street that would relieve thru-traffic and finally allow parking to take place along the downtown strip. Until then, plan to park on adjoining streets and scurrying about this little burg on foot. Park behind any of Carson Street's centrally-located casinos such as Cactus Jack's on Curry Street, the Horseshoe Club on Proctor, or even Caterpillar's on 4th Street, directly across from the State Legislature, all of which provide ready access to many of Carson's chic shops, trendy bars, and historic markers. Musser Street is another great base that offers free two-hour parking everyday along the State Capitol building in a highly centralized location!

Markers of Carson City

It should come as no surprise that most of Carson City's 26 markers focus on the finding of Nevada. That's right ... the roots of our state government and how the Silver State came to be. Of course, Carson City would not be, without some help from the world-famous Comstock Lode. In fact, the capitol owes much of its existence to this exuberant chapter of Nevada history. Whether it be before or after Abe Curry's eye-on-the-prize, the historical markers here give a warm and wonderful commemorative to our state's heart.

[1] -- Empire and Carson River Mills

39.187308, -119.706369

"When the Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859, the problem of reducing the ore from the fabulously-rich Virginia City mines had to be solved."

[25] -- Nevada's Capitol

39.16387, -119.76629

"I think having the state capitol located here in the down-home persona of Carson City brings much of the appeal to this already tight-knit state of ours ..."

[70] -- Bliss Mansion

39.16723, -119.77209

"Towering shade trees, narrow streets, red-bellied robins, feeding mule deer, and wonderfully serenity away from the main drag is quite unlike anything in Nevada!"

[71] -- Methodist Church of Carson City

39.16466, -119.76969

"Dedicated in 1867, this church serves a congregation that was organized in 1859 and is often referred to as the "Cradle of Nevada Methodism."

[72] -- Nevada's State Children's Home

39.16001, -119.76439

"The Nevada Orphans' Asylum, a privately funded institution, was opened in Virginia City May 1867 by Sister Frederica Migrath ..."

[75] -- Government Building (1888-1970)

39.1662, -119.76661

"This imposing public structure, the former United States Post Office and Courthouse, represents the first federal office building constructed in the State of Nevada."

[76] -- Eagle Valley

39.12482, -119.76755

"Centrally located between the first Nevada settlement at Genoa and precious metal deposits of the Comstock Lode Eagle Valley was a vital link in land communications."

[77] -- Dat-So-La-Lee

39.11833, -119.75522

"Myriads of stars shine over the graves of our ancestors." Dat-So-La-Lee had seen some 96 winters, mostly in the Carson Valley, when death came in 1925."

[78] -- Orion Clemens Home

39.16663, -119.76955

"Orion Clemens, secretary to Territorial Governor James W. Nye, lived in this house with his wife, "Mollie," from 1864 to 1866."

[91] -- Stewart Indian School

39.11782, -119.75637

"Originally known as the Carson Indian Training School, Stewart Indian School provided vocational training and academic education for nearly a century."

[134] -- Trans-Sierran Pioneer Flight (March 22, 1919)

39.17227, -119.7489

"The first authenticated air flight over the Sierra Nevada was successfully completed when four U.S. Army planes touched down here on an improvised field."

[175] -- Stewart-Nye Residence

39.16393, -119.77072

"This house was built about 1860 of local sandstone for William Morris Stewart who lived here until 1862. He sold it to the territorial governor of Nevada, James W. Nye."

[179] -- First Air Flight in Nevada (June 23, 1910)

39.19448, -119.7757 Missing

"... The Raycroft Ranch area has been something of Nevada's Big Dig for decades. A proposed shopping center, then a series of condos and apartments. Not an historical marker."

[180] -- The Warm Springs Hotel

39.16186, -119.73765

"Built about 1860, the Warm Springs Hotel was used by Nevada's First Territorial Legislature as a meeting place in 1861."

[181] -- The Washo Indians

39.1161, -119.85136 Missing

"Long before the coming of the emigrant trains, this site overlooked the lands of the Washo Indians. A valley, a city and a county still bear their name."

[193] -- Historic Flume & Lumber Yard

39.15189, -119.76646

"Approximately one mile south of this point and west of the present-day highway lay the immense lumberyard of the Carson-Tahoe Lumber and Fluming Company."

[194] -- Gardner's Ranch

39.15328, -119.76721

"On this site in the period from 1870 until 1918 stood the ornate two-story home of Matthew Culbertson Gardner, rancher and lumberman."

[196] -- The United States Mint at Carson City, Nevada

39.16717, -119.7674

"Two stories high with a centrally located cupola, the sandstone blocks were quarried at the Nevada State Prison."

[213] -- Lakeview

39.20841, -119.8039

"In 1872, one hotel became a station on the newly-completed Virginia and Truckee Railroad between Carson City and Reno."

[235] -- Camp Nye

39.16223, -119.79454

"Established one-half mile to the north in October of 1864, Camp Nye served as the home base for the men of companies "D" and "E" 1st Nevada Volunteer Cavalry."

[243] -- Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight

39.1645, -119.76005

"On March 17, 1897, at an arena located on this site, Carson City played host to Nevada's first world championship prizefight ..."

[250] -- State Printing Building

39.16422, -119.76516

"Completed in 1886, the State Printing Building is the second oldest structure built by the State within the Capitol Complex."

[252] -- Rinckel Mansion

39.16392, -119.76818

"Completed in 1876, this palatial residence represents one of the finest and best preserved examples of High Victorian Italianate architecture remaining in the American West."

[258] -- Charles W. Friend House, Observatory, and Weather Station

39.16422, -119.76433

"This is the site of the house and observatory of Nevada's first weatherman, astronomer and seismologist, Charles William Friend."

[259] -- The Governor's Mansion

39.16723, -119.77293

"Reno architect George A. Ferris designed this neo-classical mansion which cost $22,700. It is the only home ever built for Nevada's highest elected official."