Carson City, officially the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City, is an independent city and the capital of the state of Nevada. The population was 55,274 at the 2010 census. 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. Carson City is about 30 miles (50 km) south of Reno and 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 also the county seat of Ormsby County. In 1969, the county was abolished and Carson City and a few small surrounding settlements within the former county were merged into a newly formed independent city called Carson City Consolidated Municipality. With the consolidation, the city limits today extend west across the Sierra Nevada to the California state line in the middle of Lake Tahoe.