on U.S. Highway 95 at Walker Lake
Nevada’s earliest maps show Walker Lake. Jedediah Smith, the first English-speaking American in what is modern-day Nevada, passed near here in 1828 during his remarkable trip across the Great Basin. Peter Skene Ogden traveled through the region in 1829, and then John C. Frémont arrived in 1845 with his guide, Joseph Walker, for whom the lake is named.
Until its creation in 1911, Mineral County was part of Esmeralda. The first Esmeralda County seat was at Aurora but it was moved to Hawthorne in 1883, two years after the Carson and Colorado Railroad was built. Goldfield took the county seat in 1907, but Hawthorne became a government seat once again with the creation of Mineral County. The county includes several well-known mining towns, including Aurora, Belleville, Candelaria, Luning, Marietta, Mina, and Rawhide as well as other smaller mining camps.