Images of America: Washoe County | By Joyce M. Cox

Joyce M. Cox, a research librarian, tells the story and history of Washoe County through a collection of historic photographs and images. Washoe County, located in the northwestern corner of Nevada, borders Oregon on the north and California on the west. Washoe County was explored by John Bidwell in 1841 and John C. Fremont in 1844. Fremont’s expedition discovered the hot springs near Gerlach and named Pyramid Lake in January 1844. Miners seeking riches in the California Gold Rush and later in the neighboring Comstock Lode came through and often decided to stay in what a reporter for the Nevada State Journal described as the “first spot of beauty and rest beyond the lonely and barren desert.” See photographs of Pyramid Lake, spring seeding by John and Pearl Kleppe in 1899, Southern Pacific Railroad office workers in Wadsworth in 1902, miners at the Donnelly Mountain Mine in 1910 and many more. The cover photograph shows the Raser family at the Deep Hole ranch north of Gerlach in 1890. Many of the photographs come from the collections at the Nevada Historical Society.