Washoe County, Nevada

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Washoe County is a county located in the U.S. state of Nevada. The population was 339,486 at the 2000 census; 2008 Census Bureau estimates listed a population of 410,443.[1] Its county seat is Reno.[2] It is also home to the annual Burning Man Festival.

Washoe County is part of the Reno–Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Washoe County was created in 1861 as one of the original nine counties of the Nevada Territory. It is named after the Washoe people who originally inhabited the area. It was consolidated with Roop County in 1864. Washoe City was the first county seat in 1861 and was replaced by Reno in 1871.

In 1911 a small group of Bannock under a leader named "Shoshone Mike" killed four ranchers in Washoe County.[3] A posse was formed, and on February 26, 1911, they caught up with the band, and eight of them were killed, along with one member of the posse, Ed Hogle.[4] Three children and a woman who survived the battle were captured. The remains of some of the members of the band were repatriated from the Smithsonian Institution to the Fort Hall Idaho Shoshone-Bannock Tribe in 1994.[5]


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