along Interstate Highway 80 at the Imlay Interchange, thirty miles west of Winnemucca
Jesse and Lindsay Applegate headed south from Willamette Valley, Oregon, June 29, 1846, seeking a less hazardous route to that region from the east. On July 21, they came to a large meadow on the Humboldt River, which is now the nearby Rye Patch Reservoir. Thus they established the Applegate Trail.
During the remainder of 1846 and for the next two years, Oregon emigrants successfully traveled this trail.
In 1848, Peter Lassen, hoping to bring emigrants to his ranch, acted as a guide to a party of ten to twelve wagons bound for California. He followed a route from here to Goose Lake where he turned southward over terrain that was barely passable. The emigrants suffered great hardships including the loss of many lives and livestock. It became known as the “Death Route.”
along Interstate Highway 80, thirty-eight miles west of Winnemucca
Humboldt House or Humboldt Station was originally the point of departure for Humboldt City, Prince Royal, and the mines in that vicinity. In September 1866, it became a stage stop for the historic William (Hill) Beachey Railroad Stage Lines.
As the Central Pacific Railhead advanced from eastern California, it reached Humboldt House in September 1868. From 1869 to 1900, Humboldt House was well known as one of the best eating houses on the Central Pacific Railroad. It was truly an oasis in the great Nevada desert, with good water, fruit, and vegetables. The large grove of trees to the west marks the site of this famous hotel.
Between 1841 and 1857, 165,000 Americans traveled the California emigrant trail past here. In 1850, on the dreaded Forty Mile Desert southwest of present day Lovelock, over 9,700 dead animals and 3,000 abandoned vehicles were counted.
at the Courthouse at Lovelock
Here was a key point on Nevada’s earliest road, the famed Humboldt Trail that brought 165,000 immigrants west in the 1840s and 1850s. Travelers named this rich valley the Big Meadows. They stopped here for water and grass before continuing south to cross the dreaded Forty Mile Desert, the most difficult segment on the trail to California.
Mining began here in the 1850s. George Lovelock, merchant, rancher and prospector, gave his name to the county seat. The coming of the railroad in 1869 brought new growth to the area. Pershing County, established in 1919, was previously part of Humboldt County.