Eureka, Nevada

Eureka was originally settled by silver prospectors from the nearby settlement of Austin. Nearby being a relative term as Austin is 70 miles away, one hour in today’s modern car, but much longer in 1864 on foot and horseback. Ely, the next settlement of measure is Ely, 77 miles to the east. Duckwater is 46 miles to the south. This is an area you do not want to be exporing without water, food, spare tire and a full tank of gas.



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Although Silver was an early find in the nearby mountains, lead mining became a mainstay to the economy. Lead was the second largest mineral rich area, surpassed only by the Comstock Lode to the west near Virginia City. Silver however was also heavily recovered from the mines.

At one time the narrow gauge Eureka & Palisade Railroad serviced the area between 1873 and 1938. The railroad connected Eureka to Southern Pacific Railroad’s national network at Palisade but folded due to reduced ore production from the mines and increased road traffic supplying the town with basic needs.

A survivor of the Eureka & Palisade Railroad’s rolling stock is the ‘Eureka’, a Baldwin Class C8/18 C-4-4-0 in private ownership in Las Vegas. It is the only known operational example of this particular model steam locomotive. Another engine, #7, a Prairie 2-6-2 is operational in Athol, Idaho at the Silverwood Theme Park doing scenic park runs.

The population peaked about about 10,000 in 1878 before tapering off to approximately 500 currently. Location attractions include

    These are detailed in other posts.

  • Eureka Opera House: built in 1880 and restored in 1993
  • The Jackson House Hotel: built in 1877
  • The Eureka Sentinel Museum: housed in the Eureka Sentinel Newspaper Building
  • Part of the Loneliest Highway (US50) crossing central Nevada.

A notable annual event is the July 4th / Independence Day celebration, including a parade organized by the Eureka Volunteer Fire Department. The fire department also stages a 9PM fire works display, weather and fire conditions permitting.

The all volunteer Fire Department provides fire protection, rescue, and vehicle rescue services for Eureka and the surrounding areas. With the construction of a new Fire House in 2009, a fire-museum was added to the station. It may be viewed via large glass windows or a tour may be possible by contacting a local fire department representative.

Built in 1876, the Eureka Courthouse is historic in design but modern in function and still functions as the legal and government center for Eureka County.

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Courtesy T. Turner – Desert flowers in bloom