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Storey County Nevada

Storey County Nevada

Storey County Nevada Overview

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Year Established/Founded


Storey County Nevada History

Storey County was created in 1861 and named for Captain Edward Farris Storey, who was killed in 1860 in the Pyramid Lake War. It was the most populous county in Nevada when organized in 1861. Virginia City is the county seat. It was originally to be named McClellan County after General George B. McClellan, who later ran unsuccessfully against Abraham Lincoln for president in the 1864 election.

Storey County benefited from the discovery of Comstock Lode silver.

The county population collapsed after the Comstock Lode was fully mined and hit a minimum of 568 in the 1960 census. Since then, its population has partially recovered because of its relative proximity to Reno.


  • 1850 – When gold was discovered by three Mormons in the ground around Mount Davidson. In 1857, the Grosch Brothers were the first to intelligently mine silver, leading to the mining rush that was soon to follow. In the fall of 1859, Virginia City’s first street was laid out, marking the start of the fastest growing city in the west.
  • 1859 – When miners discovered the largest deposit ever found of gold and silver in Virginia City, which pumped nearly half a billion dollars into the economy of the United States
  • 1861 – Storey County was created in 1861 and named for Captain Edward Farris Storey
  • 1861 – Permanent brick structures were prevalent along the main street and wood structure suburbs were expanding outward.
  • January 1861 – One of the first fires to threaten Virginia City started in a wood cabin on A Street, and with no organized fire brigade, citizens gathered around and threw snowballs at the fire. 
  • October 26, 1875 – Virginia City was plagued by a number of devastating fires, and the end of company rivalries in Virginia City forever. At about 5:15 in the morning, a few miners in a boarding house on A Street became a little too rowdy and knocked over a lamp. The resulting fire was fanned by fierce winds known as the Washoe Zephyr and ultimately destroyed fully two-thirds of the city–more than 2,000 structures.
  • September 3, 1999 – Kevin Baugh declared his backyard to be independent of the US, creating the Republic of Molossia.

Area Size

264 square miles

The population of Storey County Nevada


Adjacent Counties

Historical Points of Interest in Storey County Nevada

Nevada Historical Markers in Storey County Nevada

Storey County is home to eleven Nevada Historical Markers.

As we visit each we will link the articles below for you to learn more about the history of the site the marker represents.


No incorporated communities are in Storey County.

  • Clark
  • Gold Hill
  • Lockwood
  • Virginia City (county seat; a census-designated place)
  • Virginia City Highlands

Major Roads

  • Interstate 80
  • State Route 341
  • State Route 342
  • State Route 439

Storey County Nevada