Genoa Nevada Courthouse Museum

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Genoa Courthouse Museum

The Tahoe area of Nevada is filled with history. Nevada's first permanent town, Genoa is close by. This community was settled in 1851 by John Reese and in the middle of town, you will find the Genoa Courthouse Museum. Built in 1856, the Genoa Courthouse was the center of government for Douglas County until 1961 when the county seat was moved to Minden. Read More

First used as the government building for the County of Douglas, then used as a school from 1916 through 1956, the Genoa Courthouse was opened as a museum by the Carson Valley Historical Society in 1961.

Through the efforts of dedicated citizens, an extensive restoration project was undertaken. The result was the repair of the exterior of the building and the restoration of the interior of the building. Funds for the restoration project were received by grants from the state and county, the Bicentennial Commission, the Fleischmann Foundation, and private gifts and donations. The museum continues to operate through society memberships, interest from a trust fund, memorial gifts, and other donations.

When you walk through the Genoa Courthouse Museum, you are transported back in time to a day when murder trials, divorces, property settlements, mining disputes, probates, and adoptions took place in the courtrooms. The courthouse also served as a community meeting place for the area's social and political events.

There is also a children's nursery exhibit with a wonderful collection of dolls and including a hand carved German-made child's bed. Other exhibits include Washo baskets and an exhibit honoring John A. "Snowshoe" Thompson who earned his nickname by snowshoeing over the Sierra Nevada to carry mail to Placerville, California, and back to Genoa, Nevada.