A trip into Reno from the West will bring you through Verdi, Nevada. Zipping along I-80, you might notice some impressive homes along the river and dotted among towering pines in the mountain foothills. This Reno suburb is a town all its own, with modern history dating back to the 1860s. Today, Verdi’s rural setting, safe surroundings, and community vibe are a draw for many looking to be close to all the services of a major city but outside of the hustle and bustle. Fun fact — Verdi is ranked in moving.com’s Ten Best Cities in Nevada to Call Home (even if it’s kind of a stretch to call this small town a city). If you’re considering a move to Reno, read on for everything worth knowing about Verdi.
Verdi — Formerly known as Crystal Peak
State Historical Marker number 191 lays out the history of this mill town pretty well:
“Modern Verdi came into being with the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad through Nevada between 1867 and 1869. Verdi became a major mill town and terminal for the shipment of ties and construction timbers, with a network of logging railways reaching into the forests north and west of here. In 1860, a log bridge was built across the Truckee River near where Verdi is now located. Known as O’Neil’s Crossing, the site served as a stage stop during the 1860s on the heavily traveled Henness Pass Turnpike and Toll Road and the Dutch Flat and Donner Lake Road.
In 1864, the Crystal Peak Company laid out a town on the site some two miles from Verdi’s present location. The company owned mining and lumbering interests near the settlement then called Crystal Peak. Verdi remained an active lumbering center into the twentieth century due to the exertion of men like Oliver Lonkey of the Verdi Lumber Company. A fire in 1926, plus depletion of timber reserves, resulted in Verdi’s decline.”
A trip through Verdi itself will take you by a small handful of businesses. Boomtown, an alternative to Reno’s downtown hotels/casinos, a well-kept entertainment secret of the budget-minded wanting close proximity to skiing in Tahoe and Reno. There’s also Verdi Distillery, famous for their Garlic Whiskey and Jackalope Gin, well-known local restaurant Chop40, a post office, a history center, an elementary school that goes through eighth grade, a convenience store, a small church, and a library. Go over Crystal Peak Bridge and past the small cemetery, and soon enough, you’ll find yourself crossing the state line straight into California. The same little town straddles two states, and there’s an eight-foot, four-sided, cast-iron pylon clarifying “California” on one side and “Nevada” on the other. It’s surrounded by a wrought-iron fence, so it’s pretty hard to miss.
It all adds up to a quaint little town, a 20 minute drive to all the amenities and entertainment of downtown Reno and the spectacular beauty of Lake Tahoe, but with a decidedly rural feel. Some of the homes border the Truckee River, while others enjoy the breathtaking views of the Verdi Range. Developments are springing up but there’s still a lot of land and space left to enjoy. Curious about cost? Here is a sampling of what is available or has recently sold. Interested in knowing more? You know where to find me!