Carson City, Nevada: Silverdome and simple congregation from the land of Kit Carson
Tucked away south of Reno and east of Lake Tahoe is the state Capitol of Nevada. Carson City is named for the mountain man Kit Carson who led an expedition west to California through the area. Walk along Carson street to the Silver domed Capitol and you will see markers in the sidewalk of the Kit Carson trail with his picture and horseshoes guiding your way. Casinos and Saloons provide an easy distraction if you're in the mood for diversion.
Two blocks to the west, a lineup of three churches reside along Nevada street. They all predate the establishment of the Capitol building in 1869. First Presbyterian in 1864 is the oldest church building still holding services in Nevada, and has a connection to famed author Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain). His brother Orion Clemens was the Secretary of the Nevada territory from 1861-1864 and was a church member. Methodist church of Carson City, dedicated in 1867 from a community started in 1859, is known as the cradle of Nevada Methodism. The third church on Nevada street is St. Peter’s Episcopal church, constructed in 1868 as a graceful reminder of the churches of old New England. It’s a tall, narrow and white steeple, perfectly placed between two almost equally tall trees, against a bright blue sky.
Return to the Capitol grounds, which are covered with flowering trees. These hide the splendor of the Neoclassical Italianate style, built with sandstone from a local quarry. It is adorned with a Silver dome that glistens from all angles of the daily sunshine. On the south side plaza stands a larger than life statue of Kit Carson, riding his weary horse, with his hat in hand by the saddle.
Stunning architecture and simple symbolism greets you when you visit this hidden gem of our 51 Capitols. Most people associate Nevada with the lights and show business of Las Vegas and would be hard pressed to even identify the name and location of its capital in Carson City. Even though it would seem to be out of place next to Central California's east border, it is actually quite accessible to Reno, Interstate 80, and Lake Tahoe,all known for boating and skiing recreation. Plan a visit. Experience a quiet and simple Capitols and churches community nestled in Western Nevada.
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