LearnBoost welcomes Mark Twain Elementary
The first Europeans to arrive in what is known as Eagle Valley were John C. Fremont and his exploration party in January 1843. Fremont named the river flowing through the valley Carson River in honor of his famous mountain man scout, Christopher "Kit" Carson. Prior to Fremont's expedition, Washoe Indians inhabited the valley and surrounding areas.
By 1851 the Eagle Station ranch located along the Carson River served as a trading post and stopover for travelers on the California Trail's Carson Branch which ran through Eagle Valley. The trading post and valley received their name from a bald eagle, hunted and killed by one of the early settlers, featured on the wall of the post. In 1858 Abraham Curry bought Eagle Station and named the settlement there Carson City after the Carson River and indirectly after Kit Carson.
As Curry and several other partners had Eagle Valley surveyed for development. Curry had decided for himself that Carson City would someday serve as the capital city and left a 10-acre (40,000 m2) plot open in the center of town for a future capitol building.
Following the discovery of gold and silver on the nearby Comstock Lode in 1859, Carson City's population began to rise. Curry built the crude Warm Springs Hotel a mile to the east of downtown. As he predicted Carson City was selected as the territorial capital, beating out Virginia City and American Flat. Curry loaned the Warm Springs Hotel to the territorial Legislature as a meeting hall. The Legislature named Carson City to be the seat of Ormsby County and selected the hotel as the territorial prison with Curry serving as its first warden. Today the property still serves as part of the state prison.
When Nevada became a state in 1864 during the Civil War, Carson City was confirmed as permanent capital. Carson City's development was no longer dependent on the mining industry and instead became a thriving commercial center. The Virginia & Truckee Railroad was built between Virginia City and Carson City. A wooden flume was also built from the Sierra Nevadas into Carson City. The current capitol building was constructed from 1870-71.
Carson City's population and transportation traffic plummeted when the Southern Pacific Railroad built a line through Donner Pass, too far to the north to benefit Carson City. The city was slightly revitalized with the mining booms in Tonopah and Goldfield. The U.S. Federal building (now renamed the Paul Laxalt Building) was completed in 1890 as was the Stewart Indian School. Carson City resigned itself to small city status advertising as "America's smallest capital." The city slowly grew, and by 1960 it had reached its 1880 population. Portions of Ormsby County had been given over to neighboring counties and by this time the county was not much larger than the city itself. In 1969 Ormsby County was officially dissolved and Carson City took over all municipal services with an independent city status. With this consolidation, Carson City absorbed former town sites such as Empire City, which had grown up in the 1860s as a milling center along the Carson River and current US 50. Carson City could now advertise itself as one of America's largest state capitals with its 146 square miles (380 km2) of city limits.
In 1991, the city adopted a downtown master plan, specifying that no building within 500 feet (152 m) of the capitol is allowed to pass it in height, which prohibits future high-rise development in the center of downtown. The Ormsby House is currently the tallest building in downtown Carson City, at a height of 117 feet. The structure was completed in 1972.
Carson City is the smallest of the United States' 363 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
As of the 2000 census there are 52,457 people, 20,171 households, and 13,252 families residing in the city. The population density is 366 people per square mile (141/km²). There are 21,283 housing units at an average density of 148/sq mi (57/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 85.30% White, 1.80% Black or African American, 2.40% Native American, 1.77% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 6.46% from other races, and 2.12% from two or more races.20% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. There are 20,171 households, out of which 29.80% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.00% are married couples living together, 11.00% have a female householder with no husband present, and 34.30% are non-families. 27.80% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.00% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 2.97. The city's age distribution is: 23.40% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 106.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 108.20 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $41,809, and the median income for a family is $49,570. Males have a median income of $35,296 versus $27,418 for females. The per capita income for the city is $20,943. 10.00% of the population and 6.90% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.70% of those under the age of 18 and 5.80% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Carson City is governed via the mayor-council system. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote to a four year term. The city council is called the Board of Supervisors and has four members. Members are elected from single member wards. Nevada's capital had been a Republican stronghold, often voting for Republicans by wide margins. In 2004, George Bush defeated John Kerry 57-40%. In 2008 however Barack Obama became the first Democrat since 1964 to win Carson City, defeating John McCain 49% to 48%, by 204 votes, a margin of under 1%.
Despite its low precipitation, Carson City features a Mediterranean climate (Koppen Csb)  with cool but not inordinately cold winters and hot summers. The city is situated in a high desert river valley approximately 4,730 feet (1,440 m) above sea level. There are four fairly distinct seasons, all of which are relatively mild compared to many parts of the country and to what one may expect given its elevation. Winters see typically light to moderate snowfall, with a median of 8.9 inches (23 cm). Most precipitation occurs in winter and spring, with summer and fall being fairly dry, drier than neighboring California. Mid-summer highs typically top out in the 90s, doing so 36 times per year, but temperatures of 100 °F (38 °C) and above do occur on occasion.
The Carson River flows from Douglas County through the southwestern edge of Carson City.
The Carson City School District operates ten schools in Carson City. The six elementary schools are Bordewich-Bray Elementary School, Empire Elementary School, Fremont Elementary School, Fritsch Elementary School, Mark Twain Elementary School, and Al Seeliger Elementary School. The two middle schools are Carson Middle School and Eagle Valley Middle School. Carson High School and the alternative Pioneer High School serve high school students. Carson High is on Saliman Road.
Western Nevada College (WNC) is a regionally accredited, two year and four year institution which is part of the Nevada System of Higher Education. It has an education program. The school also offers associate of arts, associate of science.
Carson City has never hosted any professional team sports. However, a variety of sports are offered a parks and recreation. Many neighborhood parks offers a wide variety of features, including picnic tables, beaches, restrooms, fishing, softball, basketball, pond, tennis, and volleyball. The largest park is the Mill park, which has a total of 51 acres (0.21 km2) of land. While there are no ski slopes within Carson City, the city is located close to Heavenly Mountain Resort, Diamond Peak and Mount Rose skiing areas.
There are two highways in the city US Route 395 and US Route 50. Carson City is home to one under-construction freeway Interstate 580. Phase 1 of the Carson City Freeway Project from US 395, just north of the city to US 50 was completed in February, 2006 and Phase 2A, extending from Rt. 50 to Fairview Drive was officially opened on September 24, 2009. Phase 2B, Fairview Drive to Rt. 50 awaits funding. Carson City's first modern bus system, Jump Around Carson, or JAC , opened to the public. JAC uses a smaller urban bus that is ideal for Carson City. Carson City is also served by the Carson Airport, which is a regional airport in the northern part of the city. Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which is 28 miles (45 km) away, handles international and domestic commercial flights.
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