Today we continue our exploration of Carson City, NV and where better to begin than at the Nevada State Museum. The building that houses the museum is an amalgamation of an original older building and a modern section. Ingenuously the architect has made the connection point to look like a mine headframe. We mention that fact to the cashier when we are buying our tickets and she admits to never noticing even though she has worked there for years.
The museum has a large section devoted to rocks, dinosaurs, and ancient mammals all of which are or were plentiful in Nevada. Many fossilized dinosaurs have been discovered in the area.
After the rocks and animals we take a look at settlers’ houses and handicrafts and the evolution of modern Nevada.
We then take a look at a mine mock-up. Mining is a big deal in Nevada and we learn a lot about mining and all sorts of jargon which will be exceedingly difficult to work into every day conversation. Carson City is near to Virginia City home to the gold and silver of the Comstock Lode.
Lastly due to all the silver being generated by the mining, Nevada petitioned the federal government to finance a mint. For about 23 years in the late 1800s, Carson City minted silver dollars with their CC imprint on them. The press is still operational but only mints commemorative coins now.
We pick up a sandwich for lunch and go back to the hotel to eat our lunch and have a little down time. Around 2 PM we venture back out to visit the Railroad Museum. Unfortunately only half of the museum is open but they charge us full price nonetheless.
In the main building there are several engines and cars in tiptop shape. It seems that the Virginia and Truckee Railroad excelled at supplying the movie industry with old steam engines for the movies. The movie studios returned them mostly in really good shape. Here are a few of the trains we saw.
There are interesting maps on the floor showing the route and the time it took to get to Promontory Point where they drove in the golden spike. The track coming from the East took a few months to get from point to point but the track from the west took four years to cover the much shorter distance through the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Next we decide to take a look at the Governor’s Mansion a few blocks away. The Mansion is situated in a middle class American neighborhood although it is much bigger than most of the houses near it. It is built in the Classical Revival style. The governor’s home was built between 1908 and 1909 specifically as a home for the governor.
The rest of the neighborhood looks like the kind of neighborhood I grew up in, nice, but not too nice. People have multiple vehicles parked around their houses. A few have dirt driveways and various “antiques” in their yards or on their front porches. Most of the houses look like they were built after WWII. So it is an interesting mix. I also cannot say anything laudatory about the governor’s landscaping. It is early Spring here but maybe someone could have put down some new mulch or picked up the empty plastic bottles that I see here and there.
After thoroughly checking out the Governor’s Mansion we make our way back to the hotel where we loll around until almost 7:30 PM. We guess we better find some dinner. Our choice to night is called Pho Country which the internet says is open until 9PM. Except it isn’t. The sign on the door says only take-out between 7 and 8 PM. Now we are in a scramble to find somewhere that is open. We end up at Miss Lily’s China Bistro where although there is a lot of traffic at the take-out window, we are the only people inside. We order our usual Chinese restaurant order, moo shu pork and Mongolian beef (extra spicy). So much for my good intentions to eat reasonably for dinner.