When exploring Nevada you will find all sorts of exciting and unique cities to visit, but did you know that Nevada is home to some of the oldest cities in the United States? And while many of these towns are now little more than ghost towns, they offer a fascinating glimpse into the state’s history.
There are many things to consider when traveling – what to see, where to stay and what to eat. One thing that is often overlooked is the history of the area. Nevada’s “living ghost town” is a state with a rich history, and some of its oldest cities are in the rural areas. If you’re looking for a glimpse into Nevada’s past, here are some of the state’s oldest cities.
Brief History of the Oldest Cities in Nevada
Some Nevada cities claim to be the oldest, but it’s hard to say which is really the oldest. Genoa, Eureka and Austin are among the candidates for this honor. Since all of these cities were founded in the late 19th century, it is difficult to say which is the oldest. However, Genoa is often considered to be Nevada’s oldest city, having been founded in 1851.
Located on Nevada Highway 206, Genoa is about 10 miles from Nevada’s capital, Carson City, in the lush Carson Valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Genoa, Nevada’s oldest city, was founded in 1850 when a seasonal trading post was established nearby along the emigration route to the California goldfields.
On the way back to Salt Lake City, the first traders on the Humboldt River were attacked by hostile natives. A new group of Mormons founded Reese’s Station in 1851, later known as Mormon Station. The first non-native immigrant to Nevada, Eliza Mott, arrived with merchant Israel Mott. Genoa, pronounced “gen-OH-ah” by Nevadans, was soon given over to the community surrounding the station.
Today, Genoa is a hustle and bustle, drawing thousands of visitors to the Mormon Station State Historic Park and Genoa Courthouse Museum, located just across the street. A historic tavern, a pretty cemetery and Walley’s Hot Springs, the state’s first hot spring resort dating back to 1862, are other attractions.
Other attractions in Genoa include a variety of restaurants and some notable bed and breakfast inns. One of Nevada’s oldest taverns, despite renovations, is conveniently located near the former courtroom.
In 1873, Eureka County was formed. Elko, Lander, and White Pine counties made the land available to him. The city of Eureka was incorporated in 1865 and recognized as a county seat in 1873.
Eureka County is unique in Nevada for its blend of natural, historical and economic resources. From high mountain peaks to irrigated valley plains, residents of the county enjoy a varied physiography that supports major natural resources and economic activity.
Interstate 80, US Highway 50 and the main Union Pacific rail lines all pass through Eureka County, making it one of the few Nevada counties with such connectivity. Commercial geothermal, oil and mineral resources can be discovered in Eureka County. North America’s largest gold mines are now in the northwest corner of the county.
Austin, Nevada is a fascinating “living ghost town” with a population of only about 200 people. They work hard to keep the beautiful little town as beautiful as it has always been.
The structures and residences are beautiful, with traditional architectural styles that make each street feel like home to countless natural wonders. There is also a hot spring nearby and many other natural wonders in and around the city that will amaze you. It is a desert environment so the temperature is generally warm year-round; However, it can get quite cold in winter. Overall, Austin is the place to go if you want to experience small town charm.
What Are Some Unique Cities In Nevada?
- Public Artwork Seven Magic Mountains is a dessert exhibit south of Las Vegas, Nevada featuring seven day-lit emblems, 30 to 35 feet tall, made of painted, locally mined rock.
- Eureka is a charming little mining town off Highway 50 that’s always ready to welcome tourists. In the vicinity there are many historical buildings, sights and natural beauties.
- A haven for artists and naturalists alike, Ely, Nevada is located off Highway 50. There are several Nevada cities to visit.
What’s so special about the public artworks in Vegas, Nevada?
Ugo Rondinone, a well-known Swiss artist, created the wonders of the Seven Magic Mountains in Nevada. As a piece of public land art, admission and parking are free for all visitors to the Seven Magic Mountains. He collaborated with the Art Production Fund and the Nevada Museum of Art.
Seven Magic Mountains enhances Nevada’s reputation as a region that recognizes and supports the work of notable artists while drawing attention to Las Vegas as it evolves as a cultural destination.
Significantly, regional public-private partnerships have nurtured and supported Seven Magic Mountains, resulting in significant economic and cultural development potential for Las Vegas and Nevada. Over 1000 people, from photographers to social media influencers to the general public, gather daily to see this $3.5 million work of art.
There are many wonderful places to visit in Nevada. These cities are just some of the most unique and interesting the state has to offer. Each has something special to offer its visitors, be it public art, history or natural beauty. Whether you’re looking for a small town to explore or a big city with lots to do, Nevada has it all. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in one of these unique cities.
5 Day Bucket List Tour: Explore Nevada