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Lyon County, Nevada

Lyon County, Nevada
Lyon County Courthouse
Map of Nevada highlighting Lyon County
Location in the state of Nevada
Map of the United States highlighting Nevada
Nevada's location in the U.S.
Founded 1861
Seat Yerington
Largest city Fernley
 • Total 2,024 sq mi (5,242 km2)
 • Land 2,001 sq mi (5,183 km2)
 • Water 23 sq mi (60 km2), 1.1%
 • (2010) 51,980
 • Density 26/sq mi (10/km²)
Congressional districts 2nd, 4th
Website .org.lyon-countywww

Lyon County is a county located in the U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the population was 51,980.[1] Its county seat is Yerington.[2]

Lyon County includes the Fernley, NV Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the Reno-Carson City-Fernley, NV Combined Statistical Area.


  • History 1
    • Railroads 1.1
  • Transportation 2
    • Air 2.1
    • Train 2.2
  • Geography 3
    • Adjacent counties and city 3.1
  • Demographics 4
  • Education 5
  • Communities 6
  • Entertainment 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9


Lyon County was one of the nine original counties created in 1861. It was named after Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union General to be killed in the Civil War.[3] Its first County Seat was established at Dayton on November 29, 1861,[4] which had just changed its name from Nevada City in 1862, and which had been called Chinatown before that. After the Dayton Court House burned down in 1909, the seat was moved to Yerington in 1911. There were stories that it was named for Captain Robert Lyon, a survivor of the Pyramid Lake War in 1860, but Nevada State Archives staff discovered a county seal with the picture of the Civil War general, settling the conflict.


The Central Pacific (the first transcontinental railroad) ran through the county, although a portion of the original route has been shifted for a new route south of Wadsworth in favor of Fernley. The Central Pacific later became the Southern Pacific Railroad which was merged into Union Pacific in 1996.

The Virginia and Truckee Railroad runs through Mound House in western Lyon County, on its way from Carson City to Virginia City.

The narrow-gauge Carson and Colorado Railroad had its terminus in Mound House, where it intersected with the V&T. It traveled east through Dayton, then turned south to the Mason Valley, and east again on its way to Walker Lake. Later a branch line connected the C&C to the Southern Pacific at Hazen.

The Eagle Salt Works Railroad ran for 13.5 miles, primarily on the original Central Pacific grade from Luva (2 miles east of Fernley) to Eagle Salt Works.

The Nevada Copper Belt Railroad ran on the west side of the Mason Valley.


Interstate 80 and Nevada State Route 208 cross through Lyon County.


There are three public airports in Lyon County:

  • Yerington Municipal Airport, with a 5,800-foot long runway.
  • Silver Springs Airport, with a 7,200-foot long runway capable of accepting 737's (its runway lights are visible when driving down on Fir Street from Ramsey Weeks cut-off to 95A).
  • Tiger Field on US 95A about three miles from Fernley, with a gravel runway of 2,750 feet and a paved runway of 5,600 feet.


The Amtrak passenger train California Zephyr passes through, but does not stop in Lyon County. The nearest Amtrak passenger stations are Reno and Winnemucca, Nevada. The California Zephyr runs from the San Francisco Bay Area to Chicago via Salt Lake City, Denver and Omaha.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,024 square miles (5,240 km2), of which 2,001 square miles (5,180 km2) is land and 23 square miles (60 km2) (1.1%) is water.[5] It is the third-smallest county in Nevada by area. The highest point is approximately 10,565 feet (3,220 m) on the northeast ridge of Middle Sister, who's peak is in adjacent Mono County, California, while the highest independent mountain completely within Lyon County is the nearby East Sister. The most topographically prominent peak in Lyon County is Bald Mountain.

Part of the Toiyabe National Forest is located within Lyon County.

Adjacent counties and city


As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 51,980 people residing in the county. 85.0% were White, 2.5% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.8% Black or African American, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 6.4% of some other race and 3.7% of two or more races. 14.8% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 34,501 people, 13,007 households, and 9,443 families residing in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 14,279 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.62% White, 0.65% Black or African American, 2.45% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 4.59% from other races, and 2.94% from two or more races. 10.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race (this figure likely doesn't reflect the significant illegal alien population).

There were 13,007 households out of which 33.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.40% were married couples living together, 9.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.40% were non-families. 21.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.10% under the age of 18, 6.60% from 18 to 24, 27.30% from 25 to 44, 25.20% from 45 to 64, and 13.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 102.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,699, and the median income for a family was $44,887. Males had a median income of $34,034 versus $25,914 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,543. About 7.20% of families and 10.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.10% of those under age 18 and 7.10% of those age 65 or over.

From 2000 until 2008, Lyon County was one of the fastest growing counties in the United States.[12] However, its growth rate collapsed during 2008.[13]


Lyon County has 16 schools provided by the Lyon County School District.



Prostitution is licensed and legalized in Lyon county. Open ranches include:

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 193. 
  4. ^ Laws of the Territory of Nevada passed at the first regular session of the Legislative Assembly. San Francisco, CA: Valentine & Co. 1862. pp. 289–291. Retrieved May 14, 2014. 
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ [4]

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