It's fair to say that the Central Pacific Railroad was responsible for bringing the country to Winnemucca, and Winnemucca to the rest of the country. The railroad reached the region Sept. 16, 1868, and was officially opened to Winnemucca three weeks later.
Oddly, there was no celebration at the time of the rail's arrival, perhaps because so much more work was ahead as the railroad continued laying tracks on its eastward mission. By November, the railroad was completed through Humboldt County (when, in 1872, Winnemucca would be designated the county seat.) The actual naming of the town came earlier, named after a chief of the Piute tribe.
Once the railroad arrived, Winnemucca began to flourish. Charles Crocker, one of the original backers of the Central Pacific, thought it was a good place for the railway to intersect the stage lines that ran both north and south. By 1870, Winnemucca was a modern town, with nearly 300 citizens. It eventually had two hotels, five stores, two stables, two blacksmith shops and a brewery. The town's location — right on the Humboldt River — is nine miles west of the Big Bend, and about 61 miles below the mouth of Reese River. Winnemucca became a depot for trade with neighboring Idaho, and a stage for the mining region that ran through the city.
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