Carson named ‘best Western historical site’ |

Carson named ‘best Western historical site’

The blue line passes the historic Yerington house on Division Street. Carson City was named the best western historic site in the new issue of True West Magazine. It was chosen for the blue-line tour and the Kit Carson Trail in western Carson City.

Carson City’s large, historic west-side neighborhood caught the eye of judges for True West Magazine’s Best of the West contest.

They’ve named the capital city Nevada’s “best Western historical site” in their October issue, due on news stands Sept. 21.

Staff at the convention and visitor’s bureau are thrilled.

“We are so excited,” said Candy Duncan. An unfavorable review in the summer edition of Sperling’s “Cities Ranked and Rated” had them discouraged.

“So to have something like this extolling our Western heritage, we’re really excited. It’s an honor. We’ll take all the ‘best of’ awards we can get.”

The awards, which also name a best Western artist, saddle maker, shirt maker and single-action revolver, are decided by the publication’s editors and contributing writers.

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“They travel around the West and basically they help us decide what cities to nominate,” said Meghan Saar, assistant editor at True West Magazine.

They especially liked Carson City’s west-side Kit Carson Trail, which provides walkers with a 2.5-mile path through some of the town’s historic structures. The “Talking Houses” aspect – recorded information played on AM radio stations – sealed the deal.

Renovated Victorian homes along the blue-line path include the Krebs-Peterson house, used in John Wayne’s last movie, “The Shootist” and the stunning Bliss Mansion which features 15 rooms and seven marble fireplaces.

Orion Clemens, whose brother Sam later assumed the pen name Mark Twain, lived in the house at 502 N. Division Street. Twain donated toward the construction of the First Presbyterian Church on the corner of Nevada and Musser streets.

“When Mark Twain arrived here in 1861, he was more impressed with the neighboring Sierra Nevada Mountains than with the town, but then he never heard Carson City’s ‘Talking Houses,'” the True West piece states.

Virginia City earned the reader’s choice award for “Best Wild West Town” in the same issue.

The Carson City and Virginia City visitors bureaus have joined forces to create a brochure with coupons redeemable at locations in both towns. They also went in together on an advertisement in the “Best of” issue of True West Magazine.

“That’s because we’re working on a campaign to get visitors to think of Carson City and Virginia City has sisters in history and that’s all because of our V&T Railroad project,” Duncan said.

She said the room tax increase is helping raise the $4 million needed for the first phase of the railway’s reconstruction: Crossing overman Pit in Gold Hill.

Contact Karl Horeis at or 881-1219.