Genoa’s name marks 150th year |

Genoa’s name marks 150th year

by Marion Ellison

As this year of 2005 draws to a close, we should be reminded that this is the sesquicentennial year of Genoa’s naming.

It was the Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde who suggested the name.

Since 1850, the location on the Overland Trail had been known as Mormon Station. The area contained folks with three different political goals.

Some were in favor of the land being taken as part of California. Others sought independent territorial status for the Eastern Slope of the Sierra.

The smallest group was willing to have Utah law established because they thought they were a part of the Utah Territory.

In the meantime, the citizens of Carson and Eagle Valleys, believing in the American right to self-government, formed their own government.

In response to the political churning, the Utah Territorial Legislature created Carson County on Jan. 17, 1854. Governor Brigham Young nominated Orson Hyde to be the Probate Judge to oversee the county’s formative election.

The summer of 1855 was spent determining where the California State line was located.

The work was done by representatives of the California Surveyor General’s office and by Mormon missionaries volunteered by Orson Hyde.

Once Mormon Station was determined to be in the Utah Territory, elections were set for Sept. 20, 1855.

Orson Hyde suggested that the name of Mormon Station be changed to Genoa, the birthplace of Columbus.

The citizenry confirmed the name change to Genoa and also validated the location as the seat of government for Carson County.