The first permanent structure at Genoa was a small, roofless cabin, built in 1850 by two Mormon settlers (Hampton Beatie and Abner Blackburn) as a base from which to sell provisions. This was enlarged the following year, now owned by John Reese from Salt Lake City, with later additions of a hotel, stable and blacksmith's shop. The settlement became unofficially known as Mormon Station during the next few years, until changed to Genoa. The hotel and the store continued to operate through the 1860s, during which time the state of Nevada was created from the western part of the Utah Territory, and Genoa was made the seat of Carson County. Trade declined in the following years but the post was still in operation when the great fire occurred, on 28th June 1910, destroying all of the station and the adjoining two blocks. Some of the other affected businesses were quickly rebuilt, but in 1916 the county seat was transferred to Minden, causing Genoa to become more isolated, and the town has remained small ever since.