Along US 50, 4 miles east of Carson Street -- Carson City
Original Date Visited: 5/27/07
Signed: Both lanes of US 50
Marker History: The original location for  was set for the Carson River bridge along Deer Run Road - a more historically accurate location (approximately one-half mile to the southeast) near the former site of the Gregory Mill. However, the SHPO deemed it a little out of the way. Instead, they settled on this particular spot along US 50. Despite it being the first marker in the system, this one has somehow lived a docile life. Since its debut,  has seen a number of improvements. In 1995, the mortar within its stone base was replaced, and in 2000, a more modern metal plaque (so often seen by many of the markers around the state) was placed over its original etched lettering to further protect it against wear and tear.
When the Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859, the problem of reducing the ore from the fabulously-rich Virginia City mines had to be solved. Mills were built in Gold Canyon and Six Mile Canyon, in Washoe Valley, at Dayton, and on the Carson River which offered the most abundant source of water for generating power to the mills.
On the east shore of the river near the town of Empire the first small mill, built in 1860, was later enlarged to become the Mexican. The site of this mill lies to the southwest. Other large mills were then constructed further downstream, spurring the growth of the town of Empire. Ore was hauled to the mills at first by wagon and later by the famous Virginia and Truckee Railroad built in 1869. Fortunes in gold and silver were produced in over 40 years of operation by the Carson River mills including the Mexican, Yellow Jacket, Brunswick, Vivian, Merrimac and Santiago. Traces of Empire and its mills can still be seen today.
Related Links & Markers
 -- Dayton  -- The Comstock Lode  -- Historic Flume & Lumber Yard Nevada Towns: Empire
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