Mormon Station is located in the town of Genoa, and is Nevada’s first permanent non-native settlement. Originally constructed in 1851, a replicated fort lies on the grounds today and houses a museum with pioneer-era artifacts.
Originally the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 initiated a frantic scramble to the West. After facing many challenges on their journey west, many pioneers were not prepared to conquer their final obstacle: the treacherous Sierra Nevada range. As many were travel weary and likely out of supplies, many settlers made the lush and fertile Carson Valley their final destination.
In June of 1850, Abner Blackburn and Hampton Beatie, members of the Mormon Battalion, established a temporary trading post on the west side of Carson Valley. They documented many compelling stories of this beautiful region, intriguing their Salt Lake employer John Reese and his nephew Stephan Kinsey. In fact, their journals were so interesting that it encouraged Reese and Kinsey to relocate to the west side of Carson Valley in 1851.
The Reese Company then built a permanent trading post nearly one mile south of the temporary trading post established by Blackburn and Beatie. The new station featured a blacksmith shop, livery stable and even included flour and saw mills nearby.
During that same year, residents formed a squatter’s government, and later in 1854, Utah Governor Brigham Young appointed Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde to serve as probate judge and spiritual head of the community.
Hyde eventually changed the name of the community to Genoa (after Genoa, Italy) and made it the official county seat. Mormon pioneers made their way to the area in 1857, and in 1861 Congress created the Territory of Nevada. James Nye assumed the role of Governor and designated Carson City as the capital of this new territory.
Then, in 1864, Nevada became the 36th 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 mine exploded with success, Genoa remained a key-player in economic activity both in freight and passenger activity.
The park grounds includes a museum, stockade and wagon shed, park and group pavilion area. Admission to the museum is $1.00, while the stockade and wagon shed can be enjoyed for free. The parks’ mature trees and large grassy area is the perfect place to have a picnic. The State Park also boasts clean flushing restrooms and is dog-friendly! Located 12 miles south of Carson City via US 395 and State Route 206, the museum and group use area are open May through mid-October. Visit today!