Carson City, officially the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City, is an independent city and the capital of the US state of Nevada, named after the mountain man Kit Carson. As of the 2010 census, the population was 55,274. The majority of the population of the town lives in Eagle Valley, on the eastern edge of the Carson Range, a branch of the Sierra Nevada, about 30 miles (50 km) south of Reno. The town originated as a stopover for California bound emigrants, but developed into a city with the Comstock Lode, a silver strike in the mountains to the northeast. The city has served as the capital of Nevada since statehood in 1864 and for much of its history was a hub for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, although the tracks were removed in the 1950s. Prior to 1969, Carson City was the county seat of Ormsby County. In 1969, the county was abolished, and its territory merged with Carson City to form the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City. With the consolidation, the city limits today extend west across the Sierra Nevada to the California state line in the middle of Lake Tahoe. Like other independent cities in the United States, it is treated as a county-equivalent for census purposes.