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Nothern Nevada museums

Carson City boasts many fine museums. History abounds from one to the other, offering special experiences for the kids and adults alike.

Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada

813 N. Carson St., 884-2226. The museum is open from 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays. Admission is $3 for ages 14-younger; $5 adults and free to kids ages 2-younger. The museum is most fun for children because it has hands-on displays, exhibits and demonstrations, including a large walk-on piano keyboard and warped mirrors to distort the body’s image.

The museum offers fun for children and adults. It’s a place of fun and discovery alike.

Nevada State Library and Archives

100 N. Stewart St., 684-3360. Admission is free to the Nevada State Library and Archives. It is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. It features rotating exhibits, a video on Nevada’s admission to the Union and the original State Constitution.

The building’s design incorporates the state’s first printing building, which operated from 1885-86.

The Roberts House Museum and Park

1207 N. Carson St., 887-2174. The Roberts House Museum is open from 1-3 p.m. Friday through Sunday, or by special appointment. Cost is $3 per person for a tour. The home is an outstanding example of Gothic Revival architecture believed to have been shipped from New England to San Francisco, then transported to Northern Nevada in 1873 by V&T Railroad flat car. Plans to raze the home in the late 1960s drew public outcry, enough to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to refurbish it. It is home to afternoon teas, sewing and teddy bear exhibits, June garden tour, July ice cream social and the Victorian Homes tour.

Nevada State Railroad Museum

2180 S. Carson St., 687-6953. Open daily from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., admission is $4 adults; $3 seniors, free to ages 17-younger.

Regarded as one of the finest regional railroad museums in the country, the Nevada State Railroad Museum includes five steam locomotives and several restored coaches and freight cars. Most featured equipment is the Comstock era’s Virginia and Truckee Railroad.

Nevada State Museum and Carson City Mint

600 N. Carson St., 687-4810. Open daily from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Spring and summer from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $5 adults; $3 seniors, free to ages 17-younger. The Nevada State Museum was originally built as a U.S. Mint, which operated from 1870-93, turning Comstock silver into coins. Today the museum is known worldwide for exhibits ranging from the remains of an extinct mammoth found in the Blackrock Desert to Dat-So-La-Lee Washoe Indian baskets, a ghost town and even an underground mine mockup. Coins are still minted on the historic Coin Press No. 1 the last Friday of each month.

Nevada State Capitol

Corner of Musser and Carson streets, 687-4810. Open daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. No charge; guided tours available. Completed in 1871, Nevada’s quintessential, most recognizable landmark with its silver-colored cupola. Changing historic exhibits are displayed along with state governor’s portraits.

Washoe Tribe Archive and Cultural Center

861 Crescent Drive, 888-0936. Call for appointment. The center is an archive facility with tribal and archaeological records and documents of historic importance. It includes a small display of baskets and art created by tribal artisans.

GENOA/CARSON VALLEY

Dake Hawkins House

2242 Main St., Genoa, 782-4951. Open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., admission is free. Built in the early 1870s, the home is gothic Victorian and considered one of the oldest in Nevada. Victorian furnishings and country pine are on display.

Genoa Courthouse

2304 Main St., Genoa, 782-4325. Open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., mid-May to mid-October. Admission $3 adult; $2 youth, 6-younger free. Free to Douglas County Historical Society members.

The original Douglas County Courthouse from 1865-1916, it later served as the Genoa Schoolhouse. Today it features pioneer exhibits, Washoe Indian artifacts and basketry.

Mormon Station

2295 Main St., Genoa, 782-2590. Open daily mid-May to mid-October, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; fee for group tours. A trading post established during the California Gold Rush where travelers rested and purchased supplies before tackling the Sierra Nevada. The first permanent settlement in Nevada was later renamed Genoa. Museum and stockade exhibits; picnic area.

Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center

1477 Highway 395, Gardnerville, 782-2555. Open 10 a.m.-

4:30 p.m. daily. Adults $3; $2 youth, age 6-younger free. Douglas County Historical Society members free. Gift shop. Ethnic and American Indian, Carson Valley history and changing exhibits.

The Cultural Center also housed a school from 1916-85.

VIRGINIA CITY

Nevada State Fire Museum

51 S. C St., 847-0717. Open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. mid-May to mid-October. No charge; donations accepted. Originally organized in the 1860s, Liberty Engine Company No. 1 is still an operating volunteer firefighting unit. Vintage photographs, uniforms, tools and memorabilia from the Comstock Era are on display.

Mackay Mansion

129 D. St., 847-0173. Open daily from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission $3.

Built in 1860 as headquarters for John Mackay, “King of the Comstock.” Mining artifacts, original furnishings and Tiffany silver are exhibited.

Fourth Ward School Cultural Center and Museum

537 S. C St., 847-0975. Open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May through October. Admission $2 adults, $1 children ages 6-12.

Completed in 1876, the school houses permanent and changing exhibits featuring the history and culture of the Comstock.

Way It Was Museum

118 N. C St., 847-0766. Open daily (seasonal) 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Adults $2.50, free ages 11-younger. Exhibiting the world’s most complete collection of Comstock mining artifacts plus rare photos, lithographs and maps from the “Bonanza” period.

The Castle

70 S. B St., 847-0275. Open daily end of May to mid-October from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Adults $3.50, children ages 6-12, 50 cents, free ages 5-younger. The last remaining original mansion (not restored) with authentic furnishings, imported from Europe in 1868. Original paint, crystal chandeliers, silver doorknobs and accents, Italian hanging stairways, Carrara marble fireplaces and steel engravings from 1852.

Territorial Enterprise

47-53 S. C St., 847-7950. Admission $1. Open daily from 9:30 a.m.- 7 p.m. in summer; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. winter. The third office of the Territorial Enterprise newspaper, built in 1876, boasted the first steampress in Nevada. Famous American writers Mark Twain, Alf Doten and Dan DeQuille got their starts here.

Storey County Courthouse

26-27 S. B St., Virginia City, 847-0968. Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. The state’s oldest continuously operating courthouse.

Liberty Engine Company No. 1

51 S. C St., Virginia City, 847-0717.

Mark Twain Museum

47 S. C St., Virginia City, 847-0525.

Marshal Mint Gift Shop and Museum

98 C St., Virginia City, 847-0777. See the five-pound gold nugget and watch the minting on commemorative coins. Open 7 days a week (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free.

Nevada Gambling Museum

22 S. C St., Virginia City, 847-9022.

RENO

The Nevada Historical Society

The state’s oldest museum. It is at 1650 N. Virginia St., on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Museum programs include an active exhibition schedule, lectures and docent-guided tours for students. The museums research room is open to the public from noon- 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. The exhibit galleries and museum store are open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is $3 adults; $2 seniors and ages 17-older; children and members are free.