Founded in 1858 on the site of Eagle Station (later Eagle Ranch), it took its name from the nearby Carson River, which the explorer John C. Frémont, who explored the region in 1843–44, named for his scout, Christopher (“Kit”) Carson. The city was made the seat of Carson county, Utah Territory, on March 1, 1861, a day before the Territory of Nevada was created by the U.S. Congress; an enterprising citizen, Abraham Curry, had already deeded a 10-acre (4-hectare) plot for the construction of a capital. On November 25, 1861, Carson City became the territorial capital and on November 29 was made county seat of the newly designated Ormsby county. When Nevada became a state in 1864, Carson City became the seat of the new state government. In 1969 the city of Carson City and Ormsby county were consolidated to form one governmental unit called Carson City.
Carson City has a growing and diverse economy, with a population that increased by 64 percent between 1980 and 2000. It is the regional retail and commercial center for northwestern Nevada, which is devoted to irrigated farming, livestock raising, and mining of silver and other minerals. It draws from a trade area of about a quarter of a million people with 14 percent of the city's employees working in the manufacturing industry, making it the state's leading city in that category. The city's retail and commercial growth are also expected to continue at a healthy rate. Since gambling was legalized in 1931, tourism has also been important to the Carson City economy, and the resort city is drawing increasingly more visitors. The service industry is by far the largest in the city representing 30 percent of the local workforce, which includes hotel, gaming, and tourism workers. As the seat of state government, which meets in the city for two months every two years, and a center for federal government, the government sector employs about one out of four city residents and is the second largest industry.
Visitors will find plenty of exciting activities and experiences to choose from. In the heart of the action, Carson City is nestled just minutes from world famous Lake Tahoe, electrifying Reno, historic Virginia City and the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range.
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