Nevada is filled with great history. Since becoming a state in 1864, many historical events have taken place here in the Silver State. And several Nevada towns where these historical events have taken place are some of the oldest towns in the state. Let’s take a look at 12 of the oldest towns in Nevada that are loaded with history.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Virginia City
Virginia City, the county seat of Storey County, Nevada, sprang up as a boomtown in 1859 with the discovery of the Comstock Lode. The Comstock Lode was the first major silver deposit discovery in the United States, and it eventually produced silver and gold ore valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Lovelock, the county seat of Pershing County, Nevada, was formerly used as a stop for settlers on their way to California, and eventually used as a train depot. The foundation of Lovelock came about in 1868, with the building of the Southern Pacific Railroad. This historic Nevada town, which is best known for its famous round court house, was incorporated as a city in 1917.
The first modern settlement in Pioche, located in Lincoln County, Nevada, occurred in 1864 with the opening of a silver mine. When local Indian tribes began raiding the area, the town's settlers left. In 1868, recolonization occurred and Pioche became one of the most important silver-mining towns in Nevada. Pioche is best known for its "Million Dollar Courthouse," which was built in 1872.
Tonopah, the county seat of Nye County, Nevada, began around 1900 with the discovery of gold and silver-rich ore by prospector Jim Butler. Butler had been searching for his lost burro. When he found his burro the following morning, he picked up a rock to throw at him. The rock was surprisingly heavy, and Butler soon realized he had stumbled upon the second-richest silver strike in Nevada history.
5. Carson City
Since Nevada's statehood in 1864, Carson City has served as the state's capital. Carson City's former name was Eagle Station. In 1858, Abraham Curry, a settler, bought Eagle Station and gave the area the name it's known by today, Carson City.
In 1864, Eureka, the county seat of Eureka County, Nevada, was first settled by a group of silver prospectors from the town of Austin. Eureka is best known for the following attractions: Eureka Opera House (built in 1880), Raine's Market and Wildlife Museum (built in 1887) and the Jackson House Hotel (built in 1877).
Founded in 1901, Caliente, formerly known as Culverwell and Calientes, was given its name from the nearby hot springs. After all, "Caliente" means "hot" in Spanish. Caliente is located in Lincoln County, Nevada.
Ely, the county seat of White Pine County, Nevada, was founded as a stagecoach station along the Pony Express and Central Overland Route. The town was first referred to as Ely in 1878, and its mining boom came much later than the surrounding towns with the discovery of copper in 1906. At one time, Ely was home to numerous copper mining companies.
Goldfield, the county seat of Esmeralda County, Nevada, was founded in 1902 - the same year gold was discovered. By 1904, Goldfield had produced nearly 800 tons of ore that were valued at $2,300,000. Goldfield's population grew and it soon became the largest town in the state.
Austin, located in Lander County, was first mapped out in 1862 by David Buell. Today, the town of Austin is a well-preserved example of an early Nevada mining town, better known as a "living ghost town."
Founded in 1851, Genoa was the first non-Native American settlement in what later became the Nevada Territory. Located in Douglas County, the small town of Genoa was first settled by Mormon pioneers and was the home to Nevada's first hotel and newspaper.
The city of Fallon, located in Churchill County, Nevada, was established in 1896 in a small shack belonging to Michael Fallon. Fallon is made up of mostly agricultural areas and is home to the Naval Air Station.
Do you currently live in one of these 12 historic Nevada towns? If not, which one(s) have you visited, or plan to visit soon?