Nevada History

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The following events affected political boundaries, record keeping, and family movements:

1821:  Mexico claimed the area after a successful revolt against Spain.

1840's:  Americans on the way to California traveled through the region.

1848:  Nevada was part of the area ceded by Mexico to the United States.

1849:  The first non-Indian settlement was made at Mormon Station (Genoa).

1850:  When Utah Territory was organized, almost all of present-day Nevada was included except the southern tip, which was then part of the New Mexico Territory.

1859:  The Comstock Lode of gold and silver was discovered at Virginia City, and many miners began coming from California.

1861:  Congress created Nevada Territory. In 1862 the territory was enlarged by shifting the eastern boundary.

1863:  Nevada became a state. In 1866 and 1867, more eastern land was gained from Utah Territory, and the southern tip was acquired from Arizona Territory.

1880-1890:  As the Comstock Lode declined, the states population fell from 62,000 to 47,000.

1900:  The discovery of silver at Tonopah, soon followed by gold strikes at Goldfield and the discovery of copper at Ely, led to a new mining boom that lasted until after World War I.

An especially helpful source for studying the history of Nevada is Russell R. Elliott, History of Nevada, 1973, Reprint (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1984; FHL book 979.3 H2e).

Online Resources