Today I decided to take my Sunday drive south and drove directly into Carson City. Carson City is the capital of Nevada, and named for the mountain man and scout Kit Carson in 1858. President Abraham Lincoln, recognizing the importance of Nevada’s silver and gold to the Union’s Civil War effort, signed the proclamation that ushered Nevada into statehood on October 31, 1864. It seemed like a quiet town, but with its area of 146 square miles, Carson City advertises itself as one of the largest state capitals in America!
I thought the Nevada State Museum would be a good place to start in order to learn more about the state I’m living in for the next 3 months. I was correct. The museum is connected to the United States Branch Mint Carson, Nevada and houses an original press that still works. The museum has exhibits on the Native Tribes of Nevada, a floor dedicated the natural history of Nevada, a simulated ghost town and an underground mine for visitors to tour. I really enjoyed the museum exhibits.
After the museum I decided to walk the Kit Carson Trail through the historic west side of Carson City. I started at the State Museum and passed many historic buildings including the State Capitol, the Bliss Mansion and the Governor’s Mansion (each decorated for Halloween) as well as the Nugget and Cactus Jack Casino’s. See photos for narratives.
Millionaire Duane L. Bliss built the Bliss Mansion in 1879 to showcase the fortune he earned from selling lumber to the Comstock mines, and from being involved with railroad commerce. However, when Bliss bought the land there was a cemetery on the grounds. Being the man he was, Bliss had the bodies exhumed, and moved to another cemetery to build his home. Some believe those disturbed pioneers still haunt the grounds.
Peter Vincent “Cactus Pete” Piersanti is namesake of two Nevada casinos. This was originally a gas station with slots!
Carson City Children’s Museum
After all that walking and fresh air I was ready for lunch! I decided on a favorite local diner. The Cracker Box opened in 1980 offers the best breakfast in Carson City. Very good homemade bread and hash.
Governor’s Mansion Halloween cemetary
For over a hundred years the Governor’s Mansion has been the residence and offices of Nevada’s Governor. Construction was completed in 1909. The total cost was $22,700. Legend has it that it was a neighbor’s wife donated the land, while her husband was out of town on business. Hmm… Upon his return he was naturally rather distressed to learn of his wife’s generosity on his behalf, but it was too late to renege on the deal without losing face.
While living in Carson City with his brother, Samuel Clemens used the pseudonym Mark Twain for the first time while reporting on legislative sessions, the constitutional convention and other Carson City events. Now their home is used as a lawyer’s office.
Nevada State Museum
Carson City Nugget Casino opened in 1954 and it smells like it. Yuck!
Carson City Office of Attorney General
The most visible dome in Carson City is that of the Nevada State Capitol Building and marks the symbol of Nevada’s Government since it’s completion in 1871.