Carson Group

44 Carson City

on the Capitol Grounds in downtown Carson City

In 1851, Frank and Warren L. Hall, George Follensbee, Joe and Frank Barnard and A.J. Rollins established one of the state’s oldest communities, Eagle Station, a trading post and ranch on the Carson Branch of the California Emigrant Trail. The station and surrounding valley took their name from an eagle skin stretched on the wall of the trading post.

In 1858, Abraham Curry purchased much of the Eagle Ranch after finding that lots in Genoa were too expensive. Together with his friends, Jon Musser, Frank Proctor and Ben Green, Curry platted a town he called Carson City. Curry left a plaza in the center of the planned community for a capitol building should a territorial state seat of government eventually be located in his town.

In March 1861, Congress created the Nevada Territory. Seven months later in November, Carson City became the capital of the territory due to the efforts of Curry and William M. Stewart, a prominent lawyer. When Nevada became a state three years later, Carson City was selected as the state capital, and by 1871, the present capitol building was completed in the plaza Curry had reserved for it.

25 Nevada’s Capital

at 101 North Carson Street, Carson City

Completed in 1871, Nevada’s splendid Victorian-era Capitol was built of sandstone from the quarry of the town’s founder, Abe Curry. The octagon annex was added in 1907, the north and south wings in 1915. Notable features are its Alaskan marble walls, French crystal windows, and elegant interior.

1 Empire and the Carson River Mills

On US Highway 50, about 4 miles east of Carson City

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.  Mills were built in Gold Canyon and Six Mile Canyon, in Washoe Valley, at Dayton, and on the Carson River which offered the most abundant source of water to operate the mills.

On the east shore of the river near the town of Empire the first small mill, built in 1860, was later enlarged to become the Mexican.  The site of this mill lies to the southwest.  Other large mills were then constructed farther downstream, spurring the growth of the town of Empire.  Ore was hauled to the mills at first by wagon and later by the famous Virginia and Truckee Railroad built in 1869.  Fortunes in gold and silver were produced in over 40 years of operation by the Carson River mills including the Mexican, Yellow Jacket, Brunswick, Merrimac, Vivian, and Santiago.  Traces of Empire and its mills can still be seen today.