Ghosts of Carson: 812 N. Division

A lot of old houses in Carson City are easily overlooked. The big mansions of course get all the attention, and some of the smaller houses are kept up very nice, picturesque and easily noticeable. But the historic district is a big place, and many of the smaller houses are kind of forgotten. Some of them are run down, or they’re set back from the street, or hidden behind a screen of trees and bushes. They are no less historic than their famous cousins, but they are unremarkable and therefore forgotten.

You don’t much notice these houses until something changes with them, like the windows get boarded up or a tractor gets parked in the backyard. And that’s what happened to get me to notice the house at 812 N. Division Street. This tiny house was guilty of all the sins mentioned above. It is small, it is run down, it is hidden behind an overgown yard so that you can barely see it from the street. Really you don’t even notice it except for from one corner of the yard, and if you’re driving along with your mind on other things, it’s not going to catch your eye.

It’s an old house. Real estate websites, for all you can trust them, have it recorded as dating to 1869. Maybe, maybe not. It’s possible. It certainly looks like a shack from the 19th century. It leans a bit, the wood looks old, it’s been added on to a few times.

And now, not only is it boarded up, but there is a big menacing tractor parked in the backyard. I can’t imagine it’s there for any reason but to knock the house down. Possibly somebody has plans for the land. The same real estate websites show that the house was sold in 2009. You only buy a house like this for two reasons: to fix it up, or to knock it down and use the land for something else. And I don’t see anybody coming in to fix this place up. It’s a bit beyond repair, unfortunately.

So this may be the end for this old house. With a little upkeep it could have still been nice. Sadly it didn’t get what it needed, and now I think it’s too late. If someone has a better plan for this lot, then this is one case where progress wins. Hopefully whatever goes in here is in keeping with the character of the neighborhood.

But let’s take one last look around the house, the grounds, the garages, and the little shack out back.


  1. Speaking of houses like this there is one on South Curry St., kinda down by the car dealerships that has both a Old Ford pickup truck and an old cement mixer which have been both parked there for well over 10-15 years. I know that that house is in pretty rough shape and probably cannot be saved, but I really think that at l;east that Ford pickup could…..

    • When I lived on Caroline & Minnesota from 2002-2004-ish there was an old man who always was puttering around in the yard. I loved that place because he had huge sunflowers around the property.

  2. I remember the house with the sunflowers as well. Thank you for getting the pictures of that old place. Wish it could be preserved for historical value.

  3. According to Polks’ 1972 Directory, the house at 812 N. Division was occupied by Mrs. Arnold Lee (Marie Jessie) Gillie who died in 1975 at the age of 74. She was a native of San Francisco and moved with her husband to Carson City in 1935 from Boulder City, Clark County, NV. Arnold Gillie was Master Mechanic of the Virginia & Truckee Railway at Carson City from April 1945 until he died in Dec 1949. Marie was survived by sons Robert Lee (d.2008) and Herbert H. (d.2011) both of Carson City, another son at State Line, and five grandchildren.

  4. we have a lot of old houses here, but the Historical Society doesnt think they count unless someone famous lived in them. We live next door to one that shows on a map of Carson in 1890’s. But it is not inculded with other old homes here. Sad!

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