A City Built on Trains and Automobiles
Nevada's alliance with the Union during the Civil War was important not only for the mineral resources of the Comstock Lode but because the state held portion of the transcontinental transportation and communication lines, the California Trail and the newly constructed telegraph.
After the Civil War ended in 1865, the transcontinental railroad work began. From Sacramento the Central Pacific Railroad was extended eastward over Sierra Nevada range and along the Truckee River Canyon to approach Lake's crossing (near here). By offering land in exchange for the placement of a depot station, Myron Lake convinced railroad officials to build the main station for the Truckee Meadows near his bridge crossing. In 1868, the railroad auctioned 400 town lots and within a month more than 100 houses and businesses were established - the city of Reno was born.
In 1869, construction started on a regional railroad, called the Virginia and Truckee (V&T); that would connect the Comstock to Reno and eventually extend its lines south to Carson City to transport products from the dairy trade from Carson Valley to Reno and on to San Francisco.
America Goes Mobile
During the 1910s and 1920s, highways were built so people could drive in their new automobiles across the
country. At the same time, Reno became famous for quick divorces and easy marriages. In 1913, a private consortium led by Carl G. Fisher decided to build the transcontinental Lincoln Highway from New York to San Francisco. Reno and Carson City became important junctions along the highway which would become (U.S. 50).
Constructed 1925, the Victory Highway (U.S. 40) ran from Reno through the Truckee Canyon over the Sierra Nevada range and into Sacramento.
Reno has served as a commercial redistribution point for Western manufacturers and distributors for the past 120 years. Today, Reno's convenient location and transportation routes have spurred the warehousing and logistic industries, which continue to be the underlying current of economic development in the region.