Carson City, officially the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City, is an independent city and the capital of the U.S. state of Nevada, named after the mountain man Kit Carson. As of the 2010 census, the population was 55,274, making it the sixth largest city in Nevada. The majority of the town's population lives in Eagle Valley, on the eastern edge of the Carson Range, a branch of the Sierra Nevada, about 30 miles (50 km) south of Reno.
The town began as a stopover for California-bound emigrants, but developed into a city with the Comstock Lode, a silver strike in the mountains to the northeast. The city has served as Nevada's capital since statehood in 1864; for much of its history it was a hub for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, although the tracks were removed in 1950. Before 1969, Carson City was the county seat of Ormsby County. The county was abolished that year, and its territory merged with Carson City. With the consolidation, the city limits extend west across the Sierra Nevada to the California state line in the middle of Lake Tahoe. Like other independent cities in the United States, it is treated as a county-equivalent for census purposes.
The Washoe people have inhabited the valley and surrounding areas for about 6,000 years.
The first European Americans to arrive in what is now known as Eagle Valley were John C. Frémont and his exploration party in January 1843.