Nevada, The Silver State

Nevada, The Silver State

by Sandra Merville Hart

Nevada’s nickname is The Silver State. A silver rush began when silver was discovered there in 1859.

Admitted to the Union in 1864, Nevada is also called the Battle Born State.

The early history of Nevada

snow-capped-339188_960_720Spanish sailors saw snow-capped mountains from the Pacific Ocean during the 1600s and 1700s and named the them Sierra Nevada. Nevada is a Spanish word meaning “snow-covered.” Sierra is a Spanish word for “saw-toothed mountain range. The name was first used on a map in 1776 for Father Pedro Font.

Silver was discovered at Mount Davidson in 1859. Comstock Lode drew prospectors into the territory. So many miners came that Virginia City’s mining camp soon became of boom town.

Nevada delegates decide on a name for their state

Nevada delegates held a territorial convention in 1863. They wanted to apply for statehood yet argued over the state name. Some wanted it to be Washoe, the name of a local tribe. They also considered Esmeralda and Humboldt. The delegates finally decided on Nevada for their state’s name.

Nevada becomes a state

Nevada sent its constitution to Washington D.C. by telegraph to make the application deadline. The long telegram cost $3,400!

Nevada became our 36th state on October 31, 1864.

Lake Tahoe

Beautiful Lake Tahoe, located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, is North America’s highest and largest alpine lake. As one of the world’s deepest lakes, it has shorelines in both Nevada and California.

arizona-830472_960_720Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam, a massive dam over the Colorado River at Lake Mead, gives power to residents of Nevada, Arizona, and California.

Completed in 1936, the dam is considered an engineering marvel.

A fascinating fact about Hoover Dam is that concrete was continuously poured for two years to build it—that’s a lot of concrete!

Sarah Winnemucca

Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, the daughter and granddaughter of Northern Paiute chiefs, wrote a book Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims. Her book gives valuable insights into Northern Paiute life and the effects of white settlement.

Other fun facts about Nevada

Head to Virginia City if you want to see their annual International Camel Race.

This desert state averages 7 inches of rain each year—our driest state.

Dat-So-La-Lee, a Washoe basket weaver, became one of the world’s most famous basket weavers.

The state capital is Carson City.

The state bird is mountain bluebird.

The state flower is sagebrush.




50 States Our America: Time for Kids, Time Inc. Books, 2017.

Balkan, Gabrielle. The 50 States, Wide Eyed Editions, 2015.

Cheney, Lynne. Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About The 50 States, HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.

Fast Facts About the 50 States. Children’s Press, 2010.

Keenan, Sheila. Greetings from the 50 States, Scholastic Inc., 2008.

“Sarah Winnemucca,”, 2019/01/09




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