Now a town of only 1,500 people, Eureka
boasted a population of 9,000 after the lead and silver
discoveries of the 1860s. At one time, around 1880, the
city had several dozen gambling houses, more than a
hundred saloons, an opera house, several "modern" hotels,
and sixteen nearby smelters. The town was built so
quickly that buildings were moved from several other
communities including Elko, Carlin, and Treasure
One of the best-preserved of the old mining towns of
Nevada, Eureka is quite an historic treasure. The county
court house and post office date from the late 1800s, as
do many of the other buildings along Main Street (Highway
50). Fire destroyed many of the original wooden buildings
and the second stage of construction used brick and
Several buildings with volcanic rock walls still
exist. The last of three large fires occurred along Main
Street in 1884 and most of the current buildings date
from construction after that fire. New mines have opened
in recent years, and Eureka is again a mining town.
The first place one should visit after arriving
here is the Historical Museum on Monroe Street, one short
block from Main Street. The building used to house the
Eureka Sentinel newspaper, and the museum contains
several old printing presses, left in position. The
museum also serves as the local visitor information
The Eureka County Historical Society has a
self-guiding tour map of the town available at the
museum, and this provides an excellent guide for walking
the town and visiting the historic Victorian buildings.
One prominent building on Main Street is the Eureka
Theatre. Originally the Opera House, its name was
changed when silent movies came to town in 1913. It has
been in a state of disrepair for many years and is now
under restoration. St. James Episcopal Church -- on
Spring Street -- was the first church building in town,
built in 1872.
Eureka was settled by many Cornish miners and the
church was built to accommodate the Cornish people and
other English immigrants. Built of stone, it survived the
fires of the 1880s. Five cemeteries are located on the
west side of town in an area known alternatively as
Graveyard Flat and Death Valley.
There's an RV park in town (Cottage RV Park) in
addition to a bed and breakfast inn (the Parsonage
House) and several rudimentary motels. There's a
scenic picnic spot at Pinto Summit, a few miles
east of town on "The Loneliest Road in America" (Highway
Backroad Trips from Eureka
Eureka is mid-way between the Toiyabe and Humboldt
mountain ranges and public campgrounds are at a premium
in the area close to town. BLM lands in the area have
recreation sites with primitive campsites.
The best backroad adventure in the area is a desert
drive beginning by taking Road 892 north from Hwy. 50 --
15 miles east of Eureka. The paved road becomes a dirt
surface after 30 miles and this backroad leads through a
long valley to the east of the Diamond Mountains. While
this road continues north toward Elko, turn left toward
Railroad Pass (el. 5,896 ft.) and after crossing the
summit, the road curves south through another valley with
the Diamond range now to the east, returning to Eureka.
There are several BLM sites along the loop and the
scenery includes fine views of both sides of Diamond Peak
(el. 10,614 ft.).
P.O. Box 69, Eureka NV 89316
There are few places to stay in this historic mining town
and this is one of them, a motel located at Clark and
Main streets. Rooms are basic.
Parsonage House Bed and Breakfast
P.O. Box 99, Eureka NV 89316
This historic bed and breakfast home is located at Spring
and Bateman (Highway 50). It is definitely the place to
stay if you're not inclined toward standard motel rooms
and it makes a fine stopping place on "he Loneliest Road.
It's also a good place to get breakfast in a town where
the cafes are basic.