Carson City, located in the U.S. state of Nevada, is an independent city and serves as the state’s capital. It has a population of 58,639 according to the 2020 census, making it the sixth most populous city in Nevada. The majority of its residents reside in Eagle Valley, situated on the eastern edge of the Carson Range—a branch of the Sierra Nevada—approximately 30 miles south of Reno. Kit Carson, a well-known mountain man, lends his name to the city.

Initially established as a rest stop for immigrants headed towards California, Carson City later flourished with the discovery of the Comstock Lode—the silver mines located in the nearby mountains to the northeast. After Nevada gained statehood in 1864, Carson City became the official capital and played a pivotal role as a transportation hub for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, until the tracks were dismantled in 1950.

Prior to 1969, Carson City also functioned as the county seat of Ormsby County. However, that year, the state legislature dissolved the county and incorporated its territory into a revised city charter, thus forming the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City. With this
consolidation, the city’s jurisdiction extends westward across the Sierra Nevada all the way to the California state line in the middle of Lake Tahoe.

Similar to other self-governing cities in the United States, Carson City is treated as a county-equivalent for census purposes. As Nevada officially became a state during the American Civil War, Carson City solidified its status as the permanent capital. Over time, the city’s growth no longer relied solely on the mining industry and instead transformed into a thriving commercial center. The Virginia and Truckee Railroad was constructed to connect Carson City with Virginia City, and a log flume was built to transport timber from the Sierra Nevada to the city.

The current capitol building was erected between 1870 and 1871, while the Carson City Mint, operated by the United States Mint, produced gold and silver coins from 1870 until 1893.