Museums, Historic Sites & Points of Interest

The Carson Valley is rich in western history and lore.  Visitors can spend days visiting historic sites and museums, steeping themselves in the lives of the early settlers.  There they will discover detailed information on Kit Carson and Snowshoe Thomson, the Pony Express, the Emigrant Trail, and more.  The town of Genoa, originally named Mormon Station, is the oldest permanent non-native settlement in Nevada.  It boasts many historic buildings, a wonderful museum, and a park featuring a stockade.  In Gardnerville, the Museum and Cultural Center is a marvelous place to spend an afternoon, learning many aspects of early life in the Carson Valley.  Visitors can also experience the ranch life of the old west at the Dangberg Ranch Historic Park.

Bella Vista Berry & Fruit Farm 2685 Billy's Road
Phone: (775) 267-5481

Bella Vista Berry & Fruit Farm is a “PICK YOUR OWN” Farm Supporting Agricultural Tourism and is a Home Grown Sustainable Grower. They grow the following fruit trees - Cherries, Pears, Peaches, Prunes, Apricots and Apples. They offer Concord, Glendora, Jupiter, Lakemont, Neptune, Flame Thompson, and Black Monukka table grapes. Bella Vista Berry and Fruit Farm founders, Bill & Rocky Barth believe so strongly in  the value of children’s skin cancer education that they established their berry and fruit farm with their own funds to support their endevours.  Yogi's Berry & Fruit Barn Country Store plans to open June 2014.

Carson Valley Historic Walk/Drive

Stop by the Carson Valley Visitors Authority and pick up the Walking/Driving Tour Map for a self-guided tour of historic and recreational points of interest in Gardnerville, Genoa, Minden, and the rest of Carson Valley.  You can also view the map here.  Through this journey you will learn about:  "Lucky Bill" Thorington and why he was the first man to be hanged in Nevada; the Oldest Bar in Nevada (Genoa Bar & Saloon); the historic Genoa Cemetery, where many early pioneers (including Snowshoe Thompson) are buried; and Cradlebaugh Bridge, where a waterwheel was the inspiration for the Ferris wheel's invention by George Washington Ferris.  

Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center 1477 U.S. Highway 395
Phone: (775) 782-2555

The architect for this building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was Frederic J. DeLongchamps.  First serving as a high school, the building now features Basque and Native American exhibits as well as an exhibit on Nevada's wild and free-roaming mustangs.  A special highlight is "Main Street," depicting Main Street in Gardnerville as it was from 1870-1950, with its mercantile, dry goods, and drug stores, doctor's office, barbershop and newspaper office.

Corley Ranch 859 US Highway 395 South
Phone: (775) 265-3045

Have your special event in the wonderful atmosphere of a historic ranch.  Choose from the gazebo or several arbors we have for your use.  Board a horse drawn wagon that will bring you and your party to the "party area" where your guests will be awaiting your arrival.  Later that wagon can take your guests on a tour of our beautiful ranch.  Your reception will be the talk of the town after your guests have danced in the antique barn, and have enjoyed the delicious food of the many caterers we have to choose from.  We have many more activities your guests can enjoy.  We will customize your special day so your guests will long be talking about the great time they had.  We belong to Weddings of the West, and are listed on the web.  This organization can supply you with a one-stop shopping for all the needs of your special day from the minister to your makeup!  Look for us at  We are listed under "Accommodations". 

Courthouse Museum in Genoa 2304 Main Street
Phone: (775) 782-4325

The original Douglas County Courthouse from 1865 to 1916, later serving as the Genoa School.  Exhibits highlight Native Americans, the Emigrant Trail through Nevada, the Pony Express, and Snowshoe Thompson, as well as an old-fashioned parlor, a post office, a school classroom, and the original courtroom and jail.  Open mid-May to mid-October.  Click here for a Genoa Walk Tour Map.

Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park 1450 State Route 88
Phone: (775) 783-9417

Nevada Commission on Tourism award for BEST RENO-TAHOE TERRITORY ATTRACTION. The Dangberg Home Ranch was once the center of a 48,000-acre ranch and the home of Carson Valley’s most prominent family.  The history of the valley and the family is told in a guided tour through an historic ranch house full of artifacts from Nevada’s past.  Reservations are required for the tour, which takes visitors through the ranch house, built between 1857 and 1917.  See the park’s website for information on special events, exhibits and site rental opportunities for weddings and more.

Discover Minden Walking Tour
Explore the former railroad town with its rich agricultural and rural heritage as your stroll through the tree-lined streets with your Discover Minden Walking Tour Map and Guide.  Stop by the Visitors Center or the Town of Minden office to pick one up or print one here.  
Genoa Bar & Saloon 2282 Main Street
Phone: (775) 782-3870
Be sure to visit the Genoa Bar & Saloon, Nevada's Oldest Thirst Parlor!  Click here to watch their You Tube video.  Click here for a Genoa Walk Tour Map
Genoa Historic Ghost Tours P.O. Box 622
Phone: (775) 220-0605

Learn about the rich history of Nevada's oldest town, where the ghosts help tell the story.  Come walk with us through the historic town of Genoa – Nevada's oldest settlement.  See, hear and feel the history of the Genoa Bar, The Genoa Court House, The Dake House, The Genoa Cemetery, The Hanging Tree and much, much more!  You might meet historic figures such as Snowshoe Thompson - famous “Mailman of the Sierra”, the Mormon Settlers, the riders of the Pony Express or even former inhabitants of several century old buildings!

What to Bring:  Our walk through the town will take us on nearly all-flat terrain; however the ground can be uneven at times, so please wear good walking shoes.  We also encourage you to wear layered clothing, as this is a year-round tour.  Also, a bottle of water would be a good idea.  You are welcome to bring your cameras, video and voice recorders.  You never know what might show up for you on these devices… Even if it’s only the beautiful scenery around the town!

Length of Tour:  Nearly 2 miles walking outside and inside some select buildings, plus an additional personal tour of the Genoa Cemetery.

Genoa Town Hall 2289 Main Street,
Phone: (775) 782-8696
Built in 1886, this spacious hall has a maximum capacity of 280 or will seat 150 people for dinner.
Jacobs Family Berry Farm 1335 Centerville Lane
Phone: (775) 525-0450

Completely furnished with antiques, our historic two story Victorian house is a romantic setting for the bride and her attendants to get ready for the wedding.  The groom and attendants can relax prior to the ceremony in the library-parlor.  The ceremony can be performed on spacious lawn areas surrounded by flowering shrubs and trees or in the circa 1900 barn under soaring post and beams. 

Main Street Gardnerville Walking Tour
Take a stroll down Main Street Gardnerville - see and feel Gardnerville's cultural heritage, visit the shops, and enjoy a great meal.  A Visitors Center with complete maps, brochures, and current information is located inside the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center at 1477 U.S. Highway 395 in Gardnerville or you may pick up a map at the Town of Gardnerville.
Mormon Station State Historic Park 2295 Main Street
Phone: (775) 782-2590
Mormon Station was originally a trading post established during the 1849 Gold Rush as a place for California-bound travelers to rest and purchase supplies before tackling the Sierra Nevada.  It was the first permanent non-native settlement in Nevada and was later renamed Genoa.  The park features exhibits in the museum and stockade as well as a pavilion and picnic area.
River Fork Ranch/Whit Hall Interpretive Center 381 Genoa Lane
Phone: Duane Petite, Carson River Project Director at (775) 781-3505

An 800-acre preserve operated by The Nature Conservancy, the ranch encourages sustainable agriculture and ranching, preservation and education.  A network of trails allows visitors to explore the river and discover the natural Carson Valley. 

The Fantastic Museum 1400 U.S. Highway 395 N
Phone: (541) 548-0000

The Fantastic Museum is a collection of American memorabilia, relics, and peculiarities enjoyable whether you are two or 102. The collection consists of technologies, toys, and circus attractions of the past.

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