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May is Historic Preservation and Archaeological Awareness month. The Carson City Historic Resource Commission is pleased to host the 11th Annual Scavenger Hunt.  This is a family-friendly activity that sends participants on a quest through Carson City’s historic west side. Pack some water, lace–up your walking shoes and prepare for lustrous greenery, this year’s hunt features 25 locations in the Historic District. The community is encouraged to practice social distancing while exploring and experiencing Carson City’s Historic District.

This year’s challenge requires participants to locate fences and gates provided in the clues.  Fences and gates, while varied in material and construction, are important landscape features that often serve as an extension of the architecture of the house.  These features tie the building and landscape together while enhancing privacy, establishing property boundaries, and protecting children and pets. The District offers a variety of fences and gates that reflect the time period of the houses they surround.

Ornamentation was common on houses built during the Victorian era (1870-1905) and fences tended to be understated so not to upstage the house and grounds.  During the Craftsman movement (1905-1930) yards flowed together and fences were used primarily in the backyard for utility.  After WWI, the Colonial Revival style brought the picket fence back into popularity.  These gave way in the 1940s to the affordable, low 3 to 4-foot high chain link fence that took vines well.

The Carson City Historic Resource Commission has guidelines for building new fences and gates within the District. New fences and gates should reflect the period and style of the house and be made from materials common in the nineteenth century, such as wood, wire, wrought iron, brick, and stone. As you stroll through the District, notice the assortment of fence and gate styles that run from simple to ornate.

The scavenger hunt is available for online submittal and a paper copy can be printed at Completed answers are due on May 31, 2020. A winner will be drawn from the correct submittals to receive a $50 gift card to a local restaurant. Answers may be submitted through the following methods:

  • Drop off the paper copy using the bright green utility billing drop box located on the east side of City Hall, 201 North Carson Street. Paper copies can be printed by visiting
  • The scavenger hunt is available online and can be submitted online at

For more information, contact Carson City Planning Manager Hope Sullivan at [email protected] or 775-283-7922