Northern Nevada has been inhabited
for nearly 10,000 years. The Newe or
Western Bands of the Western Shoshone
Nation called this area home. The Newe
had seasonal campsites throughout
northern Nevada. During the spring,
they dispersed from the winter villages
to gather plants and hunt. During late
summer, they gathered again to hunt
bigger animals and fish and stockpile
food for the long winter months. The
winter villages would be located in the
pinion/juniper forests because fuel for
fires was readily available. In the 1870's
self governing reservations and colonies
were established with traditional schools.
The Te-moak Tribe was established in
1918. The Western Shoshone Nation
retains the traditions, pride, and culture
and diligently passes it on to the next
Travel along the Humboldt corridor
began with the fur trappers in the late
1820s followed by the gold rush in 1849.
Upwards of 250,000 people traveled the
California Trial between 1841 and 1869.
Elko was established on December 28,
1869 as the Central Pacific Railroad was
building eastbound during construction
of the transcontinental railroad. The
name of Elko was chosen by CPRR vice
president, Charles Crocker. He saw
antlered animals in the area and chose
ELK with O for emphasis. The Union
Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads
together north of the Great Salt
Lake, May 10, 1869.
Chinese immigrants were the laborers
during the construction of the Central
Pacific Railroad. After the railroad was
completed, many Chinese returned to
Elko, as it was quickly becoming a mining
and ranching center. Two joss houses
(Chinese temples) and homes were built
in the area of Fifth and Silver Streets.
These ambitious men worked the mine
tailings, owned stores, ran restaurants,
and worked as cooks on the area ranches.
In Elko, some pooled their money and
bought a large tract of land. They dug a
10-mile water ditch from the Humboldt
River, near Osino, to Elko and built a
reservoir where the Bicentennial Flag
is today. Vegetables were grown at the
"China Ranch" which were sold through
the county. (This area is now the location
of the Elko County Fairgrounds and Elko
Carly mining was based in Tuscarora,
north of Elko, in the early 1870s as
part of mining's boom and bust cycles.
In the early 1960s, the Carlin Trend was
discovered with rich microscopic gold
ore. New methods of extraction were
developed. Today, northeastern Nevada is
a leading gold mining area in the United
States and throughout the world.