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Known as “The Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno, Nevada is known for its casinos, being the second only to Las Vegas as a Nevada casino destination. Situated in the northwestern part of the state, Reno is the county seat of Washoe County. The area began to be settled as early as the 1850s, when a few pioneers came to the Truckee Meadows. Mostly engaged in subsistence farming, early residents of the area could pick up some business from those who were traveling the California Trail, which followed the Truckee River westward, before branching off towards Donner Lake. Gold was discovered in Virginia City in 1850, which brought more people along the California Trail, and a toll bridge across the Truckee River in 1859. The community that grew up around the bridge site was first known as Lake’s Crossing, after Myron C. Lake, who purchased the bridge two years after it was built. Lake later deeded land to the Central Pacific Railroad in exchange for its promise to build a depot at Lake’s Crossing. The depot was built, but it was renamed Reno, for Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer who was salin during the Civil War. Reno replaced Washoe City as the county seat in 1871. When the mining boom diminished in the early 1900s, Reno gained in importance. Gambling began there in 1931, when Nevada legalized open gambling.


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