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Washoe County, Nevada

Washoe County, Nevada
Washoe County Courthouse
Seal of Washoe County, Nevada
Map of Nevada highlighting Washoe County
Location in the state of Nevada
Map of the United States highlighting Nevada
Nevada's location in the U.S.
Founded November 25, 1861
Named for Washoe Tribe
Seat Reno
Largest city Reno
 • Total 6,542 sq mi (16,944 km2)
 • Land 6,302 sq mi (16,322 km2)
 • Water 240 sq mi (622 km2), 3.7%
Population (est.)
 • (2013) 433,731
 • Density 67/sq mi (26/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website .us.washoecountywww

Washoe County is a county located in the state of Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the population was 421,407,[1] making it the second-most populous county in Nevada. Its county seat is Reno.[2]

Washoe County is included in the Reno, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Major highways 2.1
    • Adjacent counties 2.2
    • National protected areas 2.3
  • Demographics 3
  • Communities 4
    • Cities 4.1
    • Census-designated places 4.2
    • Other communities 4.3
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Washoe County was created in 1861 as one of the original nine counties of the Nevada Territory. It is named after the Washoe people who originally inhabited the area. It was consolidated with Roop County in 1864. Washoe City was the first county seat in 1861 and was replaced by Reno in 1871.

Washoe County is the setting of the 1965 episode "The Wild West's Biggest Train Holdup" of the syndicated western television series, Death Valley Days. In the story line, deputy Jim Brand (Charles Bateman) places a locked chain on a Central Pacific Railroad engine until the company agrees to pay its tax assessment. Roy Barcroft played the aging Sheriff Jackson with Pat Priest as his daughter, Nora, who is romantically interested in Brand.[3]

In 1911, a small group of Bannock under a leader named "Shoshone Mike" killed four ranchers in Washoe County.[4] A posse was formed, and on February 26, 1911, they caught up with the band, and eight of them were killed, along with one member of the posse, Ed Hogle.[5] Three children and a woman who survived the battle were captured. The remains of some of the members of the band were repatriated from the Smithsonian Institution to the Fort Hall Idaho Shoshone-Bannock Tribe in 1994.[6]

In 1918, Washoe County elected the first woman elected to the Nevada Legislature, Sadie Hurst, a Republican.[7]

"For decades Paiute children growing up in northern Nevada were required by the federal government to attend a boarding school in Carson City where they learned English, not Paiute."[8]

As of 2013, "Washoe County is the first school district in the state to offer Paiute classes," offering an elective course in the Paiute language at Spanish Springs High School[8] and North Valleys High School.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,542 square miles (16,940 km2), of which 6,302 square miles (16,320 km2) is land and 240 square miles (620 km2) (3.7%) is water.[9] The highest point in Washoe County is Mount Rose at 10,785 ft (3,287 m), while the most topographically prominent peak is Virginia Peak.

There are two incorporated cities within the county, namely Reno and Sparks. In 2010, there was a ballot question asking whether the Reno city government and the Washoe County government should become one combined governmental body.[10] According to unofficial results the day after the election, 54% of voters approved of the ballot measure to consolidate the governments.[11]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 339,486 people, 132,084 households, and 83,741 families residing in the county. The population density was 54 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 143,908 housing units at an average density of 23 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.41% White, 2.09% Black or African American, 1.82% Native American, 4.28% Asian, 0.46% Pacific Islander, 7.67% from other races, and 3.28% from two or more races. 16.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 132,084 households out of which 31.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.90% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.60% were non-families. 27.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.90% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 31.00% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 102.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,815, and the median income for a family was $54,283. Males had a median income of $36,226 versus $27,953 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,277. About 6.70% of families and 10.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.20% of those under age 18 and 6.20% of those age 65 or over.


Ranching in Washoe County


Census-designated places

Other communities

  • Anderson
  • Antelope Valley
  • Arrowcreek
  • Bartley Ranch
  • Beulah
  • Border Town
  • Bronco
  • Buffalo Ranch
  • Caughlin Ranch
  • Copperfield
  • Damonte Ranch
  • Deep Hole
  • Diessner
  • Dodge
  • Flanigan
  • Franktown
  • Galena
  • Glendale
  • Grand View Terrace
  • Heinz
  • Hidden Valley
  • Hot Springs
  • Huffaker
  • Jumbo
  • Lawton
  • Mayberry-Highland Park
  • Mira Loma
  • Montreux
  • Mustang
  • New Washoe City
  • North Valleys
  • Northeast Reno
  • Northwest Reno
  • Olinghouse
  • Palomino Valley
  • Panther Valley
  • Patrick
  • Phil
  • Poeville
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Pyramid
  • Raleigh Heights
  • Rancho Haven
  • Red Hawk
  • Red Rock
  • Reederville
  • Saddlehorn
  • Sand Pass
  • Sano
  • Steamboat
  • Upper Pyramid
  • Vya
  • Washoe City
  • Washoe Summit
  • Wedekind
  • Winnemucca Ranch

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. ^ "Death Valley Days"The Wild West's Biggest Train Holdup on .  
  4. ^ James Shown - Winnemucca, NV. "America's Last Indian Battle". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  5. ^ "Ed Hogle memorial". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  6. ^ "NMNH - Repatriation Office - Reports - Great Basin - Nevada". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  7. ^ "Fact Sheet" (PDF). Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau. November 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Joe Hart (Director). "Nevada Proud: Students get a chance to learn native language in school". (KRNV, Reno, NV). Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ Voyles, Susan (October 24, 2010). "Combining local governments is questioned on ballot issue". Reno Gazette-Journal. 
  11. ^ "Election Results: Nevada". The New York Times. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  17. ^ "American FactFinder".  

External links

  • County website
  • Historical Markers of Washoe County

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