Carson City, Nevada - Worth a Stop for History and Small Town Charm
Carson City, just 30 minutes from Reno, is the capitol of Nevada. It's an unassuming town, but worth a stop just to soak up the charm of the vintage homes and gardens. Spend at least a day in Carson City and find out what Nevada history treasures you can find. Carson City is colorful, quaint and definitely will hold your interest.
Carson City - History, Gigantic Cottonwoods, and Beautiful Homes
It was June. Carson City was on the schedule for our walking club tour. Little had changed since my last visit two years prior but I focusing on walking the historic neighborhoods and visiting the museums. And on this brief stop, learned more about Nevada history and thoroughly enjoyed the exciting historical exhibits at the State of Nevada Historical Museum. We were determined to do some walking but you might have other ideas.
Walking the Blue Line
Before it got very hot, we decided to walk the Kit Carson Trail, which was a 2.5 mile walking tour following a blue line painted on the sidewalks of Carson City's historic area. The first 13 places listed in the Kit Carson Trail brochure include the city's most historic government buildings and landmarks including the silver-domed State Capitol, built between 1870-71, the former U.S. Mint (now the Nevada State Museum), built in 1869 and the Governor's Mansion, completed in 1909. The Nevada State Governor's Mansion is located at 600 N. Mountain St. The mansion is open for tours on Nevada Day, the last Saturday in October. We decided to walk the full tour and return to the museum later. (It was air conditioned).
We saw historic churches and then followed the blue line into the city's historic residential neighborhoods. The houses range from the modest, such as the 1862 Smail House (512 N. Curry), which is considered a fine example of Greek revival architecture, to the elaborate, like Henry M. Yerington's grand Victorian home, built in 1863, once home of the superintendent of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad.
The Historic Cottonwood
I am always awed at large trees. On the corner of Division and Washington is an immense cottonwood tree. It was designated the Bi-Centennial Cottonwood.
Visiting the State Capitol
Carson City's Capitol Building is one of the most modest of those I have seen across our 50 states yet it is very charming and beautiful in it's own right. Be sure and visit the Capitol. The Capitol Building was constructed of locally quarried sandstone. It's silver-colored cupola dome rises 120 feet above the ground, providing panoramic views of the capital city of Carson City. There is a legend that depicts the Capitol dome's cupola as made of silver. In reality it was first constructed of tin and then, after a retrofit, of silver-colored fiberglass. Although Nevada is known as "The Silver State," the Capitol building remains understated and beautiful in it's simplicity.
Nevada State Museum and Mint
The Nevada State Museum will captivate young and old with exhibits that are replicas of early Nevada mining towns, rooms that house machinery that was part of the early mint, and exhibits chronicling Nevada's gambling history. If you are interested in coins, don't miss the old mint and coin displays. You will also find surprises in the non permanent displays. It is a beautiful museum and worth the small entry fee. The museum is located on Carson City's main drag. 600 N. Carson St. (Hwy. 395) corner of Robinson Street.
The Nevada State Railroad Museum
The railroad museum is located at the south end of town next to the Visitors' Center. It displays a collection of restored historic Virginia and Truckee Railroad equipment. Rides on the railroad are offered on various weekends in the summer.