Wandering Lizard

An Online Magazine with Information relating to attractions, lodging, dining
and travel related resources in selected areas of Nevada

Lincoln County

Pioche - County Seat

Pioche is located in eastern Nevada on U.S, Highway 93 in Meadow Valley. The valley was settled by Mormon farmers in the early 1860s. During the winter of 1863-1864, Paiute Indians led William Hamblin, a Mormon missionary, to a significant silver deposit in the hills northwest of Panaca. Mormons and gentiles alike quickly laid claim to a large number of sites in and around the valley. As word of the discovery spread, people flocked in. One of the newcomers was Francois Louis Alfred Pioche, a French financier from San Francisco who invested heavily in the emerging mining camp. As the first tents and shacks were replaced with substantial buildings the community that rose up was named after it's leading citizen - Mr. Pioche. It was a lawless place and legend has it that more than seventy people were buried in Pioche's boot hill before anyone died of natural causes. The so-called Million Dollar Pioche Courthouse was built in 1871 and actually cost close to that amount before it was finished. Strong silver production lasted through 1876, but tapered off thereafter. At its peak Pioche had a population of about ten thousand souls. A huge fire devestated the town in 1948.

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