Nevada State History – War, Explorers, Population, Facts & Geography of Nevada State

Native Americans

Before Europeans arrived, the land of Nevada was inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Shoshone, Paiute, Washoe, and Mojave. They lived in a small village and built a domed house called a wikiup. They mainly ate vegetables such as pine nuts and root vegetables, but they also hunted and fished for food. Most of the tribes were at peace until the arrival of the Europeans.

Information about Nevada State:

Capital Carson City
Population 3,177,772 (Source: 2022 U.S. Census)
Major Cities Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno, Sunrise Manor, Paradise, Spring Valley
Borders Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, California
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $215,917.8 million (2022 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)
Key Industries Agriculture including cattle, dairy products, hay, and potatoes
Tourism, machinery, printing, electronic equipment, gold and silver mining

Flag of Nevada State:

Europeans Arrive

The first European to arrive in the area was the Spanish monk Francisco Garces in the 17th century. Few Europeans set foot in the area until the 19th century. In 1827, trapper and explorer Jedediah his Smith crossed the Las Vegas Valley on the way to California. He has mapped most of the area for his future travelers. Another fur trader, Peter Ogden, said he went down the Humboldt River in 1828.

Becoming a State

Nevada was considered part of Spain and then part of Mexico until the Mexican-American War. After the war ended in 1848, Nevada became part of the United States under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In 1850 Nevada was organized into the Utah Territory and became an independent territory in 1861. On October 31, 1864, Nevada was incorporated as her 36th state.

Nevada State Symbols

  • Nevada State Nickname: Silver State
  • Nevada State Slogan: Wide Open
  • Nevada State Motto: All for Our Country
  • Nevada State flower: Sagebrush
  • Nevada State bird: Mountain Bluebird
  • Nevada State fish: Lahontan cutthroat trout
  • Nevada State tree: The Single-Leaf Pinon
  • Nevada State mammal: Desert bighorn sheep
  • Nevada State foods: NA

Early Settlers

Among the first settlers to the area were Mormons from Utah in 1851. In addition, especially after he started the California Gold Rush in 1848, people started passing through Nevada on their way to California. The small town of Las Vegas is a stopover for many travelers heading to California.

Comstock Lode

In 1859, a large silver deposit called the Comstock deposit was discovered in Nevada. This triggered a flood of miners into the area, hoping to get rich quick there. Booming cities such as Virginia City emerged in the area. It is estimated that about $400 million worth of silver was mined on the Comstock Road before it was depleted in 1898.

The Geography of Nevada State:

  • Total Size of Nevada: 109,826 sq. miles (source: 2003 Census)
  • Geographical Low Point of Nevada: Colorado River at 479 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Clark (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Geographical High Point of Nevada: Boundary Peak at 13,140 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Esmeralda (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Central Point of Nevada: Located in Lander County approx. 26 miles southeast of Austin (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Counties of Nevada: 17 (source: National Association of Counties)
  • Bodies of Water of Nevada: Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, Lake Mead, Humboldt River, Colorado River, Carson River


In 1931, Nevada legalized gambling in hopes of helping the economy during the Great Depression. The original intention was that gambling would only be legalized for a short period of time. However, gambling soon became an important part of the Nevada economy. About 34% of government taxes now come from gambling. Las Vegas’ mega-casinos are major tourist draws and an important industry for the state.

Nuclear Testing

In the 1950s, Nevada was sparsely populated and became a testing ground for nuclear weapons. In the years that followed, he detonated over 1,000 atomic bombs in the Nevada desert. Since 1962, all experiments have been conducted underground and ceased in 1992.

Famous People of Nevada State:

Kevin Rose Founder of Digg
Harry Reid Senator and Senate majority leader
Pat Nixon First Lady
Julia Mancuso Olympic gold medal skier
Steven Jackson Football player
Adam Hicks Actor from Zeke and Luther
Bryce Harper Professional baseball player
Kurt and Kyle Bush Race car drivers
Andre Agassi Professional tennis player

Interesting Facts of Nevada State:

Nevada means “snowy”. Other names considered for the state included Washoe, Humboldt, and Esmeralda.

Top Gun Flight School is located in Fallon, Nevada.

Area 51, a notorious UFO cover-up, is located in southern Nevada.

Nevada is one of three states where gambling is legal. It’s the driest state in the United States, averaging just about 7 inches of precipitation per year.

Helmets were invented for construction workers at the Hoover Dam.

The International Camel Race is held annually in Virginia City.

Other nicknames for the state include “Sagebrush State”, “Battleborn State” and “Silver State”.

85% of Nevada is federally owned. This state produces more gold than any other state in America.

Timeline Overview:

1821 – Mexico claims control of Nevada after gaining independence from Spain.
1827 – Explorer and fur trader Jedediah Smith crosses Nevada on his way to California.
1828 – Peter Ogden travels along the Humboldt River.
1842 – American explorer John Fremont discovers Lake Tahoe.
1846 – A Donner Party wagon train gets stuck in snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
1848 – Nevada becomes part of the United States after the Mexican-American War.
1849 – Thousands of settlers pass through Nevada on their way to California in hopes of making their fortunes there. 1850 – Nevada is organized as the Utah Territory.
1851 – Mormons settle in the area.
1859 – Comstock Road is discovered.
1861 – Nevada Territory is established by the U.S. Congress.
1864 – Nevada becomes her 36th state to join the Union.
1875 – Fire destroys much of Virginia.
1898 – Comstock deposits run out of silver.
1931 – Gambling is legalized in the state.
1935 – Hoover Dam is completed and Lake Mead is formed.
1951 – Nuclear testing begins in Nevada.
1992 – All nuclear testing ceases.

Thank you for your interest
Please leave your details to get the best colleges and free counseling
Thank you for your interest
Please leave your details to get the best colleges and free counseling