|Humboldt County is located in the rugged high desert region of north-central Nevada, bordered on the north by Oregon and by neighboring Nevada counties to the west, south and east. The County's 9,626 square miles offer some of the most varied, spectacular scenery in the State and a wide array of recreational opportunities.
The County's economy is derived in large part from its main industries:
- Agriculture and Agricultural Services
- Tourism and Construction
The County is located in the rich gold mining center of the Western U.S. and is the leading agricultural county in the State of Nevada with over 100,000 acres under cultivation. Tourism is also a large part of the County's economic base due to the large numbers of visitors the gaming industry brings to the area and the draw of the beautiful wide open spaces, historical sites, and great hunting and fishing.
50 West Fifth Street
Winnemucca, NV 89445
Web Site: http://www.hcnv.us
Garly Amos, Jr.
City of Winnemucca
90 West Fourth Street
Winnemucca, NV 89445
Web Site: www.winnemuccacity.org
Di An Willis Putnam
The Humboldt River is perhaps the most famous geographical feature in the state of Nevada. John C. Fremont named the Humboldt River during one of his early explorations, after Baron Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist. traveler and statesman. The Baron never saw Nevada or the river named after him and he died in 1859.
The California trail passed along the banks of the Humboldt. The river provided the emigrants with a "treeless" highway to the Promised Land of California. Treeless because in some spots the water was very alkaline and not much vegetation grew.
Once the railroad came, The Central Pacific followed the Humboldt from Wells to the Humboldt Sink and the Western Pacific Railroad followed the river from Wells to Winnemucca, where it branched off to the northwest.
The Humboldt River has provided life-giving water to a number of communities as well as the ranchers and farmers along its length. Those who live along the mighty Humboldt River have a tendency to forget its historical significance and the fact that much is owed to it, but only see a crooked muddy stream that seems to go nowhere and carries little water to its final resting place.
Originally known as French Ford, Winnemucca grew up around a wagon crossing on the Humboldt River. The first businesses in town were a trading post and hotel that served miners and prospectors in the area and the wagon trains passing through on their way to Oregon and California. After two brothers, Louis and Theophile Lay, built a bridge across the Humboldt it was no longer necessary to ford the river. The growing town was then known as Centerville for a short time. With the arrival of the railroad, residents sought a new, more appropriate name.
Credit for naming the town is usually given to L.C. Pease or to C.B.O. Bannon. They decided to rename the town Winnemucca in honor of Chief Winnemucca, leader of the local Paiute band. According to other sources, a nameless agent for the Central Pacific Railroad who wanted to keep peace with the local Paiutes also suggested naming the town after the Chief. Because a consensus was necessary, it seems reasonable that all three men may have been responsible for choosing Winnemucca as the name of the town.
This was a logical move since the mountain and mining district north of the settlement had already been named for Chief Winnemucca in 1863. Chief Winnemucca, who died October 20, 1882, came by his name in an unusual way. As a boy, prospectors discovered him playing by the river wearing only one moccasin. Laughingly, they called to him “wan-ne-muc-cha” using the Paiute word (muchcha) for moccasin. The young boy liked the sound of the combined English/Paiute words and adopted it as his name. Over the years it has come to mean one moccasin.
Current residents like Winnemucca's slow pace, rural atmosphere and friendly people. Winnemucca, located at the crossroads of Interstate 80 and Highway 95, provides easy travel in all directions. Recent economic growth has spawned new businesses and increased opportunities for existing ones. A wide range of community activities is available for everyone.