Nevada is officially known as the "Silver State" because of the importance of silver to its history and economy. It is also known as the "Battle Born State" because it achieved statehood during the Civil War (the words "Battle Born" also appear on its state flag); as the "Sagebrush State", for the native plant of the same name; and as the "Sage-hen State". The name means "snowy" in Spanish, referring to Nevada's small overlap with the Sierra Nevada mountain range; however, the rest of Nevada is largely desert and semi-arid, much of it within the Great Basin. Areas south of the Great Basin are within the Mojave Desert, while Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada lie on the western edge. About 86% of the state's land is managed by various jurisdictions of the U.S. federal government, both civilian and military.
American Indians of the Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe tribes inhabit what is now Nevada. The first Europeans to explore the region were Spanish. They called the region Nevada (snowy) because of the snow which covered the mountains in winter similar to the Sierra Nevada in Spain. The area formed part of Alta California's territory within the Viceroyalty of New Spain, which gained independence as Mexico in 1821. The United States annexed the area in 1848 after its victory in the Mexican–American War, and it was incorporated as part of Utah Territory in 1850. The discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode in 1859 led to a population boom that became an impetus to the creation of Nevada Territory out of western Utah Territory in 1861. Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, as the second of two states added to the Union during the Civil War (the first being West Virginia). (Full article...)
Image 7A burro-drawn wagon hauling lumber and supplies into Goldfield, Nevada, ca.1904. In 1903 only 36 people lived in the new town. By 1908 Goldfield was Nevada's largest city, with over 25,000 inhabitants. (from History of Nevada)
Image 13The Nevada 1861 territory boundary (blue) changed three times: 1864 statehood shifted eastern border from 39th to 38th meridian, 1866 May 5; east border (pink) moved eastward 53.3 mi (85.8 km), from the 38th to 37th meridian, and 1867 January 18; south boundary (yellow) moved from the 37th parallel north southward to the current boundary (14 Stat. 43) (from History of Nevada)
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