Reno ( REE-noh) is a city in the northwest section of the U.S. state of Nevada, approximately 22 miles (35 km) from Lake Tahoe, known as "The Biggest Little City in the World".
Reno is known for its casino industry. Reno is the county seat of Washoe County and sits in a high desert river valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada and its downtown area (along with Sparks) occupies a valley informally known as the Truckee Meadows. The city is named after Union Major General Jesse L. Reno, who was killed in action during the American Civil War at the Battle of South Mountain on Fox's Gap.
Reno, with an estimated population of 250,998 as of 2018, is part of Reno-Sparks metropolitan, 2nd most populous in Nevada after Las Vegas-Henderson, both of which are part of the Las Vegas Valley. Greater Reno which consists of Washoe, Storey, Lyon counties and Carson City (the capital of Nevada), is the second largest metropolitan area in Nevada.
Archaeological finds place the eastern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Reno area. As early as the mid 1850s a few pioneers settled in the Truckee Meadows, a relatively fertile valley through which the Truckee River made its way from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. In addition to subsistence farming, these early residents could pick up business from travelers along the California Trail, which followed the Truckee westward, before branching off towards Donner Lake, where the formidable obstacle of the Sierra Nevada began.
Gold was discovered in the vicinity of Virginia City in 1850, and a modest mining community developed, but the discovery of silver in 1859 at the Comstock Lode led to a mining rush, and thousands of emigrants left their homes, bound for the West, hoping to find a fortune.
To provide the necessary connection between Virginia City and the California Trail, Charles W. Fuller built a log toll bridge across the Truckee River in 1859. A small community that would service travelers soon grew near the bridge.