Set on the location of the oldest non-Native settlement in the current state of Nevada, Mormon Station State Historic Park today features a replica of the trading post that was built on this spot in 1851 to serve those traveling along the California Trail.
In response to a mass migration of emigrants to California following the discovery of gold, Mormon Station was a primitive building consisting of only four walls - no floor or roof - in what was then Utah Territory as a supply resource for westward-bound emigrants about to begin the trek up into the Sierra. The next westernmost supply stop was in Salt Lake City, about 500 miles away.
In short succession, Mormon Station went through a series of owners and improvements in the ensuing years. When a population began to take hold around the settlement, a small government took form and the new town took on the name of Genoa.
Nevada became a territory in 1861, and it was granted statehood in 1864. Genoa served as the county seat, but it ultimately became a secondary population and commercial center and lost its county seat status in 1916 when the Central Pacific Railroad located their route through nearby Minden.
Mormon Station is now run as a state park, and it has recreations of some of the historical facilities, as well as a museum. The grounds are a serene and shady city park that sit just a couple of blocks from the base of the towering Sierra. The park contains grassy lawns, large trees, tables and grills, interpretive signs detailing some of the area's history, and a pavilion available to rent for group events. The museum grounds also hold occasional family-friendly events.
Museum entrance is $3 (12 and under are free), and hours vary by season. The museum and rental information for the pavilion can be found at 775.782.2590.
Pets are permitted in the park on leash. There is no cost to visit the park.
Genoa itself is a quaint town that is home to the Genoa Saloon, the oldest bar in Nevada. Visitors to the park may also like to plan on exploring the small town itself as well.