George Washington Gale Ferris, Sr.
George Washington Gale Ferris, Sr. was a farmer, rancher, and horticulturalist. He was born in New York on May 14, 1818. In 1864 he moved his family from their home in Illinois to the Carson Valley, then in 1868 they moved to a house in Carson City at the corner of Third and Division. The house still stands, known as the Ferris Mansion.
George Sr., once settled in Carson City, set up a landscaping business and started landscaping the still-new town of Carson City. He imported many trees from back east by rail, planting them all over town. He was also hired to landscape the grounds of the new State Capitol building. One of the trees he planted in 1876, a Colorado blue spruce, was later chosen as the official state Christmas tree, an honor it still holds today.
One of George's sons, George Jr., left home in 1875 to attend school. He became an engineer and later built the first Ferris Wheel for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, ensuring the Ferris name would live in history.
In 1881 George moved to Riverside, California, leaving the house to his daughter Mary. There he died on April 20, 1895.
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