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The Complete Nevada Traveler by David W. Toll
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Genoa is the oldest permanent settlement in the state and was the seat of Carson County, Utah Territory until the formation of Nevada Territory in 1861.
Genoa is the oldest permanent settlement in the state and was the seat of Carson County, Utah Territory until the formation of Nevada Territory in 1861.

The Nevada
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Description and History of
by David W. Toll
Genoa Nevada
Genoa Nevada
From The Complete Nevada Traveler, the Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guidebook to the Most Interesting State in America. Buy the Book Here

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GENOA (pronounced Juh-NO-uh)IS THE OLDEST permanent settlement within the present state of Nevada, and one of the most attractive little villages anywhere in the American West. Established as a trading post in 1851 to serve the wagon trains as a resting place between the open desert and the granite barricade of the Sierra Nevada, Mormon Station (as it was called then) became a small farming center. It is now a gentrified enclave of the wealthy.
Welcome to Genoa Nevada
Welcome to Genoa Nevada

In 1854 this tiny burg was proclaimed the seat of Carson County, Utah Territory, and in 1861 of Douglas County, Nevada Territory. Genoa's utility as a center of government had been reduced with the discovery of the Comstock mines in 1859, and Genoa's importance was largely local by the time statehood was granted in 1864. Even that importance was largely eclipsed by Minden and Gardnerville after 1910 when a resident of the county poor farm, tormented by bedbugs, tried to fumigate his mattress by lighting a pan full of sulfur underneath it. The resulting fire wiped out half the business district, the County Courthouse, and the original Mormon Fort. This ancient structure had never managed to acquire a patina of historical reverence; by the time it burned it had been a cafe, a chicken coop and a pig barn. The present structure is a replica, housing a small museum.

Mormon Fort in Genoa Nevada
Mormon Fort in Genoa
In 1916 Genoa lost the county seat to Minden and the town dwindled further in size and importance. There are only about 50 original relatively humble dwellings in the place now, along with dozens of huge new mansionettes snugged tightly together on small lots, and perhaps a dozen businesses.

Genoa Bar, Oldest bar in Nevada Genoa Bar, Oldest bar in Nevada
One of them is the Genoa Bar, oldest in the state, serving whiskey in its third century now. A few years ago its claim to antiquity was challenged by the Delta Saloon in Virginia City, but the Delta had moved once since it opened its doors on C Street in 1860, and the Genoa Bar is secure in its championship. The tree at the center of town was used to hang an offender in the early days. The cemetery offers a pleasant half hour wandering the monuments and enjoying the heavenly view: snow-capped mountains floating in the bright blue sky above the broad valley, and at your feet the evidence of mortality.

David Walley's Hot Springs resort, Genoa Nevada
David Walley's Hot Springs resort
The wonderful David Walley's Hot Springs resort is a few minutes south, near the foot of Kingsbury Grade. You can swim and soak in the natural hot spring fed pools the way the Indians did before their world crumbled, and the way the Comstock wealthy did afterward. There are overnight accommodations and luxurious amenities.

Wild Rose Inn at Genoa Nevada
Wild Rose Inn
There are bed and breakfasts, restaurants, the lively Genoa Store and a well-stocked book store. Across the street from the fort is the two-story brick Genoa Courthouse Museum, where murderers, stagecoach drivers and Pony Express riders share exhibit space with butter churns, plow harnesses and other less spectacular aspects of pioneer life.

Some people come for the golf. Three magnificent 18-hole golf courses are open to the public.

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