Situated in the heart of Genoa—the oldest establishment in Nevada—the Momon Station State Historic Park predates Nevada statehood, and was Nevada’s first permanent non-native settlement. Today, this replicated 1851-era fort houses a museum and pioneer artifacts belonging to some of the first people to rediscover the region.
EARLY DAYS IN GENOA
After the discovery of gold at California’s Sutter’s MIll in 1848, the scramble was on to make your way West to grab onto your slice of the American Dream. After facing many challenges on their journey west, many early pioneers were not prepared to conquer the Sierra Nevada range. As you might imagine after walking your way across the majority of the West, many were travel weary and running dangerously low on supplies, which made settling in the lush river-side Carson Valley an enticing 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. Here, they would go on to document tons of compelling stories about the region, so intriguing that it would entice their Salt Lake City employer John Reese and his nephew Stephan Kinsey to relocate to the Nevada Territory in 1851.
This region was situated along the Carson Route of the California Trail, in the foothills of the eastern Sierra. Blackburn and Beatie put together a modest “Mormon Station trading post. Later, the property also featured a motel and blacksmith shop to repair emigrant wagons. During this time Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde was appointed to serve as this predominantly Mormon community’s spiritual leader, who named the community Genoa. As the Comstock Lode was discovered around this same time, Genoa remained an important center of activity for freight and passenger traffic.
VISITING MORMON STATION TODAY
As Nevada’s oldest community, you better believe you’re in for some truly compelling history at Mormon Station State Historic Park. Situated in the heart of old town Genoa, plan on exploring the town’s rich history, two museums, great restaurants, gift and antique stores, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing ops. A reconstructed version of the original 1851 Mormon Station trading post that burned in 1910 begs to be explored, with the addition of a museum containing many original pioneer era artifacts.
The park grounds also includes a stockade and wagon shed, large grassy park, and group pavillion area. The park’s mature trees and large grassy area is the perfect place to have a picnic or special event. Dogs are welcomed within park boundaries as long as they are leashed.
ADMISSION AND FEES
Admission to Mormon Station State Historic Park is $1.00. Camping, or staying overnight in the park is not permitted. For the most up to date information on hours, entry fees, and special events held within the park, please click here.
Mormon Station is located in Genoa—Nevada’s oldest settlement—which is about 20 minutes south of Carson City, and about an hour south of Reno. From Carson City, head south on 395 for about 4 miles until Jacks Valley Road. Make a right (turning west), and follow Jacks Valley for about 9 miles until reaching the community of Genoa. Momon Station will be on the right side of the road, adjacent to the main intersection in town.