Wandering Lizard

An Online Magazine with Information relating to attractions, lodging, dining
and travel related resources in selected areas of Nevada

Washoe County

Reno - County Seat

Native Americans lived in the vicinity of Reno for at least ten millennia before the first anglo-Europeans entered the area. Argonauts passed through the area on their way to the California gold fields after 1848 and sometime in the early 1850s the first settlers established small farms along the Truckee River. The discovery of the Comstock Lode in 1859 attracted a flood of miners out of California back into Nevada. These people too passed through the area and in 1859 Charles Fuller built a toll bridge across the Truckee River to facilitate the increased travel between Virginia City and Sacramento. In 1861 Fuller sold his bridge to Myron Lake. Lake built a hotel, restaurant, livery stable and grist mill. In those days the community was known as Lake's Crossing. In 1868 the Central Pacific Railroad built a depot at Lake's Crossing. On May 13, 1868, the name was changed to Reno, after Major General Jesse L. Reno. In 1871, Reno was made the county seat for Washoe County. In 1872 the Virginia and Truckee Railroad reached Reno. In 1928 the road over Donner Summit was paved. In 1931 Nevada legalized gambling and liberalized its divorce laws in an effort to attract visitors.

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