Politics and Government

Virginia City and Early Nevada Mining

Virginia City and the Comstock Lode played a crucial role in the development of the region and the nation. The news of its importance has reverberated throughout the world for nearly 150 years. The wealth of the Comstock's fabulously rich mines affected presidential politics and gave Nevada international fame. Immigrants arrived from every continent, attracted by legendary amounts of gold and silver, which poured into the economy during the crisis of the Civil War.

Lincoln County Courthouse

Established on February 25, 1866, Lincoln County lacked a permanent courthouse until 1871 when it acquired a building site in Pioche. Construction began on an Italianate 40-by-60-foot brick building designed by T. Dimmock and Thomas Keefe.

Virginia City and Gold Hill

Virginia City was known as the Queen of the Comstock, the internationally famous mining district. Founded in 1859, the settlement was the focus of a gold rush and within a year, it became the region's largest community, a status it maintained in Nevada into the 1890s. Virginia City was incorporated under the Utah Territory in 1861.

Legislative Sessions and Preparation of Bills and Resolutions

Regular sessions of the Nevada legislature are held once every other year (biennial) in odd-numbered years. The Nevada state constitution requires that sessions convene on the first Monday in February next following the election of members of the senate and assembly, unless the governor, by proclamation, convenes a special session at another time.

Legislative Process in the Second House and Action by the Governor

Following the passage of a measure in the Nevada legislature house of origin, it is transmitted to the second house. If the second house passes a bill in identical form as passed in the first house, it is sent to the Nevada governor. Resolutions that are passed without change are sent to the secretary of state.

Legislative Process in the House of Origin

The Nevada legislature, like legislative bodies throughout the nation, is the branch of government that drafts bills and resolutions. In Nevada, these may originate in the senate or the assembly, the two houses of the state legislature. Following the preparation by legislative staff of a requested bill or resolution, a legislator may submit it for introduction. The Nevada legislature does not appoint committees that have the authority to screen bill drafts or block their introduction.

Legislative Branch of Nevada

Article 4 of the Constitution of the State of Nevada vests Nevada's legislative authority "in a Senate and Assembly, which shall be designated 'The Legislature of the State of Nevada,' and the sessions of such Legislature shall be held at the seat of government of the State." Since it was first approved in 1864, the constitution (article 15) has provided that Nevada's seat of government be located in Carson City.

Walter Baring

Born in Goldfield, Nevada on September 9, 1911, Walter Baring Jr. came by politics naturally. During Goldfield's heyday, his father was an Esmeralda County commissioner and an assemblyman. The family later moved to Reno, where the elder Walter owned a furniture store.

Washoe County Courthouse

Established in 1861, Washoe County's original seat of government was in Washoe City, the location of its first courthouse. In 1871, the county government transferred to Reno where the commissioners built a simple brick Italianate courthouse. Shortly after the move, a contractor demolished the Washoe City courthouse for the brick.

Lander County Courthouse

Created in 1862, Lander County built courthouses in three different towns due to subsequent shifts in county seat location. The first, located in Jacobsville, was a simple wooden structure built by A. J. McDonald at the price of $8,440.

The single-story courthouse measured 20-by-40-feet. Clad in one-inch clapboard, the walls of the building met the shingled roof with a plain-box cornice. The exterior featured side windows and a porch along the extent of the building's front.


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