Empire and the Carson River Mills
Empire and the Carson River Mills Overview
In 1860 mills were established along the Carson River near Empire City, Nevada (which is now part of Carson City). Today, the Carson River Mills is a historic area in Carson City, Nevada.
Nevada Historical Marker Number
Empire and the Carson River Mills is Nevada Historical Marker #1.
Carson City is home to 26 Nevada State Historical Markers and the links to each are below for you to research to see if you want to add to your exploration list.
- #1 Empire and the Carson River Mills
- #25 Nevada’s Capitol
- #44 Carson City
- #70 Bliss Mansion
- #71 Methodist Church of Carson City
- #72 Nevada State Children’s Home
- #75 Federal Government Building (1888- 1970)
- #76 Eagle Valley
- #77 Dat-So-La-Lee
- #78 Orion Clemens Home
- #91 Stewart Indian School
- #134 Trans-Sierran Pioneer Flight
- #175 Stewart – Nye Residence
- #179 First Air Flight Over Nevada
- #180 The Warm Springs Hotel and Nevada State Prison
- #181 Washoe Indians
- #193 Historic Flume and Lumberyard
- #194 Gardner’s Ranch
- #196 The United States Mint Carson City, Nevada
- #213 Lakeview
- #235 Camp Nye
- #243 Corbett-Fitzsimmon Fight
- #250 State Printing Building
- #252 Rinckel Mansion
- #258 Charles W. Friend House, Observatory & Weather Station
- #259 The Governor’s Mansion
Click here to view the full list of Nevada State Historical Markers.
Erected in 1964
Empire and the Carson River Mills History
The following is from Wikipedia:
In the 1850s, Nicholas Ambrose opened up a station along the Carson River. The station was known as Dutch Nicks Station or Nicks Station. In May 1860, the town was laid out by Eugene Angel and others, who named it Empire City.
“The Mexican” was the first of the mills and was established in 1860 to process the ore from the Comstock Lode. One estimate had the total number of mills operating as 186, with names like “Brunswick,” “Merrimac,” “Santiago,” “Vivian,” and “Yellow Jacket.”
On October 23, 1863, Mark Twain wrote a hoax article called “A Bloody Massacre near Carson” (alternatively, the “Empire City Massacre Hoax”) about a man who purportedly killed his wife and nine children. The hoax article stated that the alleged perpetrator lived in the “great pine forest which lies between Empire City and Dutch Nick’s.” At the time, there was no pine forest within 15 miles of Empire City. In addition, Empire City and Dutch Nicks referred to the same location.
Carson City, Nevada
How to Get to Empire and the Carson River Mills
Located east of the Carson City airport on Lincoln Highway near the intersection on Lincoln Highway and Centennial Park Drive.
Nevada Historical Marker Transcription
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 to operate the mills.
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. The site of this mill lies to the southwest. Other large mills were then constructed farther downstream, spurring the growth of the town of Empire. Ore was hauled to the mills at first by wagon and 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 including the Mexican, Yellow Jacket, Brunswick, Merrimac, Vivian, and Santiago. Traces of Empire and its mills can still be seen today.
CENTENNIAL MARKER No. 1
STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE
Nearby Historical Markers
- State Historic Preservation Office – Empire and the Carson River Mills
- Wikipedia – Empire and the Carson River Mills
Empire and the Carson River Mills