This two-story Second Empire home was built in 1875 by Henry Hudson Beck,
a businessman, member of the Territorial legislature of 1864 and an assemblyman
in the state legislature (1865, 1874, 1888, 1894). Beck had immigrated
to Carson City in 1860 and began manufacturing shingles in the mountains
above the burgeoning town. He assisted in construction projects but later
began selling shoes. His business flourished into a general mercantile
enterprise. He then married in 1869 and had four children, requiring a
large family home. The house is one of three remaining examples of the
Second Empire architectural style in Carson City. This style was prominent
in American residential architecture between 1860 and 1880, although less
common in the far West. The house gains visual prominence by its uphill
siting on a large hillside lot.
Photo by Terri McBride,
Courtesy of Nevada State Historic Preservation Office
The house was subsequently sold to the Barber family in the late 1870s.
Oscar T. Barber was a Comstock-based merchant and a member of the Nevada
State Assembly (1870). Barber's business in Gold Hill is listed in the
Virginia & Truckee Railroad 1873-1874 directory as "Barber O.T. & Co.,
dealers in hardware, stoves and tinware, mill and mining goods, Main St.
. . " The home was then purchased in 1881 by Nevada Supreme Court Justice
Charles Belknap and his wife Virginia. After being admitted to the State
Bar of Nevada in 1869, Belknap practiced law in Austin (central Nevada)
and Virginia City for six years. During this time, he also served one
term as Virginia City Mayor. Belknap was then appointed secretary to Democratic
Governor Lewis Bradley (1871-1878), and is credited with assisting the
governor pass the Mining Act of 1871 which levied a tax on mines. This
tax is still a major source of revenue for Nevada. In 1872, Belknap was
appointed to fill a vacancy in the Nevada Supreme Court. He later ran
successfully for re-election. He married Governor Bradley's daughter,
Virginia, at the Governor's residence in February 1873. The Belknaps resided
here from 1881 until they moved to California in 1908.
One of the three remaining Second
Empire style houses in Carson City, the Belknap House was built
Photo by Terri McBride, Courtesy
of Nevada State Historic Preservation Office
The Belknap House is located at 1206 N. Nevada St. in Carson City.
It is privately owned and not open to the public.