When Utah Territory was created in 1850 it included much of present day Nevada except for the southern tip (including Las Vegas) which was part of New Mexico Territory. Then in 1859 the first major silver mine, Comstock Lode, was discovered near Virginia City which attracted thousands of miners to the area. In 1861 Nevada became its own territory, and in 1862 its eastern boundary was enlarged, reducing the size of Utah. Then on October 31, 1864, during the height of the Civil War and on the eve of a presidential election, Nevada entered the Union as its 36th state. "The Silver State" became its present size after it acquired another piece of Utah's western border in 1866, and its southern tip from Arizona Territory in 1867.
"Home Means Nevada"
words and music by Mrs. Bertha Raffetto (1885-1952)
Way out in the land of the setting sun,
Where the wind blows wild and free,
There's a lovely spot, just the only one
That means home sweet home to me.
If you follow the old Kit Carsen trail,
Until desert meet the hills,
Oh you certainly will agree with me,
It's the place of a thousand thrills.
Home means Nevada,
Home means the hills,
Home means the sage and the pines.
Out by the Truckee's silvery rills.
Out where the sun always shines.
There is a land that l love the best,
Fairer than all I can see.
Right in the heart of the golden west,
Home means Nevada to me.
Whenever the sun at the close of day
Colors all the western sky,
Oh, my heart returns to the desert grey
And the mountains tow'ring high.
Where the moon beams play in shadowed glen
With the spotted fawn and doe
All the lifelong night until morning light
Is the loveliest place I know.