There were many Spanish explorers in the 1770s who came near the Nevada area, but it wasn't until 50 years later that fur traders venturing into the Rocky Mts. publicized the region.
Nevada's first settlement was Genoa, near Carson City, settled by Mormons in 1849, then called Mormon Station.
Nevada's name was adopted in 1861 when territory was established. The name was derived from the Spanish language, meaning "snow-capped".
Nevada was admitted as part of Utah Territory in 1854 and then as the Territory of Nevada on March 2, 1861.
On October 31, 1864 the territory was then admitted as the State of Nevada. This date is now celebrated as a state holiday.
Nevada was made famous by the discovery of the fabulous Comstock Lode in 1859 and its mines have produced large quantities of gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, mercury, barite, and tungsten. Oil was discovered in 1954. Gold now far exceeds all other minerals in value of production.
As an act of 1986 federal legislation, Great Basin National Park was created, the only national park in the state, which includes the area around Wheeler Peak and Lehman Caves in eastern Nevada.
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