Modern Verdi came into being with the construction of the Pacific Railroad through Nevada in 1867-'69. It became a major mill town and terminal for the shipment of ties and construction timbers, with a network of logging railways reaching into the timber north and west of here.
In 1860, a log bridge was built across the Truckee river near where Verdi is now located. Known as O’Neil’s crossing, the site served as a stage stop during the 1860’s on the heavily travelled Henness Pass Turnpike and Toll Road and the Dutch Flat and Donner Lake Road.
In 1864, the Crystal Peak Company laid out a town on the site some two miles from Verdi’s present location. The company owned mining and lumbering interests near the settlement which was then called Crystal Peak.
Verdi remained an active lumbering center into the twentieth century due to the exertions of men like Oliver Lonkey of the Verdi Lumber Company. A disastrous fire in 1926, plus depletion of timber reserves, resulted in Verdi’s decline.