Built by James D. Roberts in 1859, the structure, which is now known as the Roberts House Museum, was initially located in Washoe City. In 1873, the structure was moved to Carson City on a Virginia & Truckee Flat Car. This was typical of the era. During the boomtown days of the late 19th Century and the early 1900s, many residences and other buildings were routinely moved from mining town to mining town.
The Roberts House is the oldest house in Carson City and is a rare example of Gothic Revival architecture. The structure includes gingerbread bargeboard, lancet windows, and a steeply pitched roof.
Born in 1827 in Illinois, James D. Roberts went to California during the gold rush and then settled in Nevada in 1857. In addition to his house, Roberts is known for having fought in the Pyramid Lake Battle of 1860 – one of many conflicts between the Native American Indians and the new settlers and miners.
James D. Roberts died on January 6, 1915. The last residents of this home were Thurman G. and Hattie Hale Roberts, who bequeathed the home to Carson City. Thurman was the son of James and was a miner and an employee of the Carson and Colorado railroad. Hattie was a direct descendant of Nathan G. Hale, executed by the British in 1776. Hale's official commission, signed by George Washington still hung on the living room wall when Carson City acquired the home in 1969.
When the house was scheduled for demolition in order to make room for a park, local groups banned together and saved the house from destruction. It now stands as an excellent example of early architecture and a testament to the early settlers of Carson City.