See and hear more about the house where Mark Twain often visited and check the time at a clock tower still wound by hand; Carson City’s history is now more accessible than ever with free online tools.
Nearly 50 landmarks tell the story of Nevada’s capital city history along the 2.5-mile Kit Carson Trail. Now, new and repeat visitors to Carson City can stroll through history via a free, online interactive audio tour and enhanced mobile website with a downloadable map and video tour.
The new website features are accessible via mobile or desktop devices and are designed to guide travelers through Carson City’s West Side Historic District highlighting 1800s-era Victorian-style homes, museums and churches along the way. Learn about the landmarks, identified by the carriage stone markers along the Kit Carson Trail, which begins at the Nevada State Museum.
Visitors can learn about these Kit Carson Trail stops and more via the new audio tour or the enhanced website:
Stop 9: Governor’s Mansion, 606 N. Mountain St.
The land where the mansion stands was generously offered by Mrs. T.B. Rickey for $10. Although Nevada became a state in 1864, the Governor’s Mansion was not built until more than 40 years later between 1908 and 1909.
Stop 20: Orion Clemens House, 502 N. Division St.
This house, built around 1863, was the home of Nevada’s first Territorial Secretary, Orion Clemens. His brother, Samuel, came to Carson City as his personal secretary and later gained fame as Mark Twain; he was a frequent visitor at 502 N. Division St.
Stop 23: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Rectory, 302 N. Division St.
Henry Blasdel, Nevada’s first governor, used the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Rectory in 1864-1871 making it Nevada’s oldest surviving state governor’s residence. Although it is a simple brick house, its history is significant: The letter informing President Lincoln of Nevada’s ratification of the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery was signed there.
Stop 28: Ferris House, 311 W. 3rd St.
George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. was a young boy when his family moved from their homestead in Carson Valley to this house in Carson City. By 1892, young Ferris Jr. became a bridge-builder and a co-founder of G. W. G. Ferris & Company in Pittsburgh. He and other American engineers had been challenged to build something “which would rival the Eiffel Tower” for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893; the first Ferris Wheel was a success with more than 1.4 million people paying 50 cents for a ride.
Stop 42: Nevada State Capitol Building, 101 N. Carson St.
The building architect’s fee was $250 and its sandstone was free from the State Prison quarry. Now, over 130 years later, the Nevada State Capitol is still used, standing as a testament to the foresight of Nevada’s founding fathers. The capitol building holds the special designation of the second oldest capitol building west of the Mississippi River.
Stop 47: Paul Laxalt Building, 401 N. Carson St.
Pressed red brick with extensive detail, wide arched windows, bays and an entrance decorated with carved sandstone, all add to the picturesque composition of the Paul Laxalt Building. The Victorian-style building features an unusual three-faced clock in a 106-foot tower. The clock runs on a lengthy weight system that extends four stories and must be wound by hand every 10 days.
Carson City’s guided ghost tours also highlight stops along the Kit Carson Trail. On these tours, visitors can learn about many of the historical landmarks as well as the spirits that haunt them today. Ghost tours can be booked online.
Exploring the Kit Carson Trail is free and open to visitors year-round. There is a walking path or driving route. Find additional information at visitcarsoncity.com.
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