Mormon Station State Historic Park


Mormon Station is the site of Nevada’s first permanent non-native settlement. A replica of the original trading post, built in 1851, houses a museum with pioneer-era artifacts. Picnic and group use facilities are available. Mormon Station is located in the small town of Genoa, 12 miles south of Carson City via U.S. 395 and State Route 206. The museum and group use area are open May  through mid-October.  The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

UPDATE:  Mormon Station closed for the season on October 13 at 4:00pm.  The park is expected to re-open May 2014. 

FACILITIES & AMENITIES

  • Flush Restrooms
  • PicnicKing
  • Group Use Facility
  • Visitor Center
  • Historic Sites
  • Fees

CONTACT PARK

PO Box 302
Genoa, Nevada 89411
Phone: (775) 782-2590
Email

MEDIA

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TRAVEL

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HISTORY

The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 started the frantic migration west to California. After facing many challenges along the journey, the final obstacle on the California trail was tackling the Sierra Nevada mountains. Weary and thirsty travelers often rested and purchased supplies in the fertile oasis of the Carson Valley.

In June of 1850, two members of the Mormon Battalion, Abner Blackburn and Hampton Beatie, established a temporary trading post on the west side of Carson Valley. Their stories of this beautiful area on the emigrant trail intrigued their Salt Lake employer, John Reese, and his nephew, Stephen Kinsey.

In the spring of 1851, Reese and Kinsey loaded more than a dozen wagons full of supplies and set out for the Carson Valley. The Reese Company built a permanent trading post, approximately one mile south of the temporary trading post established by Blackburn and Beatie. Reese’s Station soon had a blacksmith shop, livery stable, and flour and saw mills nearby.

NATIVE PEOPLE

Long before the great pioneer migration to the West had begun, Washo Indians called the eastern Sierra area home. Washo people traditionally spent summers at Lake Tahoe fishing, hunting and gathering seeds, berries and roots.

In the fall, they gathered pine nuts, and grass seeds, preparing for winter in the Carson Valley. Although this cycle changed when pioneers began claiming land, Washo people still live in the area today and practice many of the traditional ways.

EARLY GOVERNMENT

In 1851 residents formed a squatter’s government, and in 1854, the Utah Territorial Legislature organized Carson County, Utah. Governor Brigham Young appointed Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde to serve as probate judge and spiritual head of the community.

Orson Hyde changed the name of the community to Genoa (after Genoa, Italy) and made it the county seat. Mormon pioneers settled in the area until 1857 when Brigham Young called all Mormons back to defend Salt Lake from the advancing U.S. Army. Genoa was a regular stop for the Pony Express during its 18-month heyday from 1860-1861. In 1861 Congress created the Territory of Nevada. James Nye assumed his duties as Governor and designated Carson City as the capital of the new territory.

Three years later, on October 31, 1864, Nevada became the thirty-sixth state in the Union. Because statehood occurred during the Civil War, Nevada became known as the “Battle Born” state.

As the Comstock silver and gold discoveries continued, Genoa remained an important center of activity for freight and passenger traffic. The route of commerce permanently shifted when the Central Pacific Railroad was built. The county seat was moved from Genoa to Minden in 1916.

Today, Genoa offers visitors a quaint small town experience that includes a rich history, two museums, delicious food choices, lodging, gift and antique stores, a variety of recreation opportunities, wildlife viewing, and more.

PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

  • Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival, late April/early May.
  • Pony Express Re-ride Celebration in June.
  • Living history demonstrations through the summer.
  • July 4: “Pops in the Park” with The Reno Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • September:  The Candy Dance Arts & Crafts Festival is always the last full weekend in September.
  • Each year: Historical presentations and other interpretive programs are offered throughout the summer months.

FACILITIES

  • MUSEUM: $1.00 entry fee. Children 12 years and younger are free. Donations help us improve museum exhibits.
  • STOCKADE & WAGON SHED: Visit the historic stockade and wagon shed for free.
  • PARK: The mature trees, large lawns and concrete walkways invite strollers and picnickers.  Picnic tables and grills are provided under large shade trees, free of charge.  Mormon Station State Historic Park is proud to provide clean restroom facilities.
  • GROUP PAVILION: The park’s group pavilion accommodates up to 300 people and is available on a reservation-only basis.  The site is perfect for weddings, family reunions, barbecues, retirement parties and more. Electricity, a sink, a large counter, barbecue and eight picnic tables are provided. The pavilion area may be reserved from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Call the park for pricing information and reservations. Parking is limited.

REMINDERS

Please make your visit, and that of others, enjoyable by observing the following:

  • Dogs are allowed on a 6-foot leash except during special events. Please clean up after dogs.
  • Tree climbing is not allowed.
  • Please respect wildlife and keep your distance.
  • All artifacts are protected by state law.
  • Please use trash and recycling receptacles and dog waste bags.

Visitors are responsible for knowing park regulations, which are posted in the park.


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