Aaron D. Treadway (March 1, 1815 - January 1903) was an early rancher in Carson City history. His ranch, known as Treadway's Park, was open to the public and was a popular picnic and getaway spot for residents of Carson City, Virginia City, and Reno.
Treadway was born in Middletown, Conn. in 1815, and later moved to Georgia and Illinois. He served as a First Lieutenant in the Fifth Illinois Regimen during the Mexican War, and was discharged in 1848. The next year he got caught up in the California Gold Rush, and moved west in 1849.
In 1859 Treadway came to the Eastern Slope, and soon bought 10 acres on the outskirts of Abe Curry's new town of Carson City. A newspaper article dates the ranch to 1861. He planted many cottonwoods on the property, which quickly grew to a large size and provided shade for his ranch. Several of these trees still survive today, including the Nevada Bicentennial Tree. In 1866 he opened part of his ranch to the public.
Treadway was known as a genial soul and quite a character, and a very popular host. The V&T Railroad ran right by the front gates of his park, and trainloads of people were always disembarking to spend a day underneath the cottonwoods. Most everyone in town came to know "Uncle Tred" in this way, as he would try to greet each and every guest who entered his property.
Treadway's death was reported in the newspaper on January 30, 1903. He left a wife but no children, although he had a huge family still living back east. After his death his ranch was broken up into parcels and sold off, a large chunk of it becoming home to Carson-Tahoe Hospital.
A small piece of Treadway's Park is still preserved in west Carson, at the corner of William and Minnesota Streets. Known as Treadway Park, it contains many of the old cottonwoods planted by Treadway himself.
The Carson City Shade Tree Council gives out an award known as the "Treadway Award" to groups and individuals that have made outstanding efforts to protect and preserve trees in Carson City.
There is a "Treadway Park Professional Center" on Mountain Street in Carson City. This small office building sits on land that was formerly part of Treadway's Park.
- Nevada Appeal, September 21, 2008: Much 'jollification' took place at Uncle Tred's park
- Historical Myth a Month #51: Going Out On A Limb - "Carson City's Oldest Tree"