Washoe Valley History

Chronicles of the Comstock: Was Washoe Valley the Garden of Eden?

Washoe Valley first was settled in 1852. The first settlers on Franktown Creek called the place “The Garden of Eden.” Within a year, other Mormon pioneers took up ranches eventually to be known as Winters,’ Bowers’ and Rose’s places. A town site was laid out with wide streets and squares so it could “grow as great as Salt Lake City.”

Bently’s record of life in the valley indicates the “Garden of Eden” was no misnomer. The log schoolhouse was built on Franktown Creek in a field of wildflowers. Tall, white clover grew throughout the meadows, ranging from the edge of the huge pine forests down to the beaches along Washoe Lake. So rich was the soil, and so well-watered were the meadows, the clover was said to grow naturally to a height of six feet.

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