To encourage our readers to visit this year’s winners of our Top 10 True Western Towns award announced in Jan/Feb, each issue will showcase the local flavor at one of these towns.
Carson City, Nevada, became a thriving commercial center, thanks to the Comstock Lode—the largest silver find in history—that brought thousands of miners to what would become the state capital in 1864. When the Comstock mines began to decline in the 1880s, development shifted to the freight and timber industries, with the help of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. The train traveled from Virginia City’s silver mines to Carson City’s mills, and this route will reopen again in 2009.
What’s the latest story everyone’s gossiping about? Construction beginning on the new freeway bypass, the future Interstate 580, linking Carson City to Reno.
Best Cowboy Bar: Genoa Bar (above) at Main and Mill Streets in nearby Genoa. Built by J.A. Livingston as Livingston’s Exchange, this bar is Nevada’s oldest drink parlor in the state’s oldest town. (Sorry, Delta Saloon in Virginia City. If you move, you lose.)
What do locals think about Virginia City? Everyone enjoys Virginia City.
What historic site do most of the schoolchildren visit?: Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada (813 N. Carson Street).
Best Attraction: Nevada State Museum (600 N. Carson Street).
Best Bookstore: Dog-Eared Books (361 Fairview Drive).
Best Western Art Gallery: Great Basin Gallery & Frame (110 S. Curry Street).
Best Route to Historic Downtown: Take Main Street and go west on Washington.
Where do the locals eat?: Red’s Old 395 Grill (1055 S. Carson Street) and Thurman’s Ranch House (2943 Hwy 50 East) for a great Western barbeque.
What’s the most popular local event?: Nevada Day Parade (above)—always a huge celebration; held this year on October 28.
What does an average home cost? $300,000-400,000.
Where’s the best spot to view wildlife?: Carson River, where you can find the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout. In the river canyon, you’ll find mule deer, black bear, golden eagles and mountain lions.
The Carson City Rendezvous on June 10-12 is not enough for me, where can I join other re-enactors locally?: Contact Ben “Kryer” Merrell from the Eagle Valley Muzzleloaders at 775-883-7736; P.O. Box 3444, Carson City, NV 89702.
Where should train buffs go when they come to Carson City? Nevada State Railroad Museum (below; 2180 S. Carson Street) and ride the train in Virginia City.
Historic Restoration Plans: Rebuild of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Officials hope to have the train operating between Virginia City and Carson City in 2009. Visit steamtrain.org to find out more.