Nevada Rock Art Geocaching Historical Markers

Historical Marker #1

Located along U.S. Highway 50, 4 miles east of Carson City.

Empire & the Carson River Mills

When the Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859, the problem of reducing the ore from the fabulously rich Virginia City mines had to be solved. Mills were built in Gold Canyon and Six Mile Canyon, in Washoe Valley, at Dayton--and on the Carson River which offered the most abundant source of water power and thus provided the best answer to Virginia City's problem.

On the east shore of the river near the town of Empire the first small mill, built in 1860, was later enlarged to become The Mexican. Site of this mill lies southwest of this spot. Other large mills were then constructed further downstream, spurring the growth of Empire. Ore was hauled to the mills at first by wagon, later by the famous Virginia and Truckee Railroad built in 1869. Fortunes in gold and silver were produced in over 40 years of operation by the Carson River mills--The Mexican, Yellow Jacket, Brunswick, Merrimac, Vivian and Santiago. Traces of Empire and the mills can still be seen today.

Notes on this marker:

The most prominant "trace" is the cemetary, which can be seen from Hwy 50 - if you know where to look. It's a sad little place that has recently been getting the attention is deserves.

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