In 1851, a man from Salt Lake City named John Reese came to northern Nevada with the 

goal of establishing a trading post for settlers and pioneers headed west during the 

California Gold Rush. He had heard of the fertile Carson Valley at the base of the Sierra 

Nevada mountains and realized its potential as a natural stop for desert-weary travelers 

from the east. Reese settled on a spot at the western edge of the valley in the very shadow 

of the mountains, and the first permanent buildings in Nevada were constructed. The 

trading post was known as Mormon Station, as Reese and most of his party were 

Mormon. Not before long, Reese’s Mormon Station grew into a successful business 

venture, and settlers began arriving in the Carson Valley, claiming land, and planting 

crops in the valley’s rich soils.