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I Haven’t Been Everywhere But ....

Loves Truck Stop

Winnamucca, Nevada

December 15, 2022

I can now say I've been to Winnamucca!

Not a place to raise my family.

Winnemucca is the only incorporated city in, and is the county seat of, Humboldt County, Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 8,431, up 14 percent from the 2010 census figure of 7,396. Interstate 80 passes through the city, where it meets U.S. Route 95.

History and culture

The town was named for the 19th-century Chief Winnemucca of the local Northern Paiute tribe, who traditionally lived in this area.[6] Winnemucca, loosely translated, means "one moccasin." The chief's daughter, Sarah Winnemucca, was an advocate for education and fair treatment of the Paiute and Shoshone tribes in the area. Their family all learned to speak English, and Sarah worked as an interpreter, scout and messenger for the United States Army during the Bannock War of 1878. In 1883, Sarah Winnemucca published the first autobiography written by a Native American woman,[7] based on hundreds of lectures she'd given in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. It has been described as "one of the most enduring ethno-historical books written by an American Indian."[7]

On September 16, 1868, the Central Pacific Railroad reached Winnemucca, and was officially opened on October 1 of that year. It was on the First transcontinental railroad.[8] It was part of the transcontinental line.

Basque immigrants worked as sheep-herders starting in the mid-19th century. In honor of this heritage, Winnemucca hosts an annual Basque Festival.

On September 19, 1900, Butch Cassidy's gang robbed the First National Bank of Winnemucca of $32,640.

Winnemucca's brothel district, while smaller now than in the 1980s, is known as "The Line" or "The Ring Circle", based on the layout of the street where the brothels are located. As of 2015, there have been no operating brothels in Humboldt County, Nevada. Sex workers in the town must register their vehicles with the local police.

According to a billboard along State Route 140 (the "Winnemucca to the Sea Highway"), Winnemucca styles itself "The City of Paved Streets".

Winnemucca is home to the Buckaroo Hall of Fame and Heritage Museum.


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Winnemucca had a vibrant Chinatown. The Chinese originally came to the area as workers on the transcontinental Central Pacific Railroad, which reached Winnemucca in 1868. Some remained or returned to settle.

During the 1890s, around 400 Chinese formed a community in the town. Among their prominent buildings was the Joss House on Baud Street, a place of worship and celebration. In 1911, the community was visited by Sun Yat-Sen, later to become Chinese president. He was on a fund-raising tour of the United States to help the Xinhai Revolution.

The Joss House, the last structure associated with Chinatown, was demolished on March 8, 1955, by order of the Winnemucca City Council.

Geography and climate

Winnemucca's climate is semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSk), averaging 8.28 in (210 mm) of precipitation annually. Summer days tend to be hot, but the temperature drops significantly at night. Winters are cold with generally light snow, with 22.0 in (56 cm) falling during a typical year. The highest recorded temperature in Winnemucca was 109 °F (43 °C), on July 11, 2002, and the lowest recorded temperature was −37 °F (−38 °C) on December 22, 1990. Freezing temperatures have been observed in every month of the year.


As of the census of 2000, there were 7,174 people, 2,736 households, and 1,824 families residing in the city. The population density was 867.5 people per square mile (334.9/km2). There were 3,280 housing units at an average density of 396.6 per square mile (153.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.41% White, 2.23% African American, 0.89% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.60% from other races, and 3.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 20.74% of the population.

Basque Americans make up 4.2% of the population of Winnemucca, the highest percentage of any city in the United States.

There were 2,736 households, out of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 30.2% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 105.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,699, and the median income for a family was $53,681. Males had a median income of $47,917 versus $26,682 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,441. About 7.5% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.8% of those under the age of 18 and 8.1% of those 65 and older.


The Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada has its headquarters in Winnemucca. It is a federally recognized tribe of Western Shoshone and Northern Paiute Indians in northwestern Nevada.


Amtrak provides service to Winnemucca. The California Zephyr provides a daily service in both directions between San Francisco and Chicago.

Historically, since 1867, Winnemucca has been a station on the Transcontinental Railroad.

Winnemucca is near the half-way point between Salt Lake City and San Francisco along Interstate 80, which passes through town. US Route 95 also goes through Winnemucca.

Local aviation needs are served by the Winnemucca Municipal Airport, located about 5 miles southwest of downtown. There are no scheduled passenger services. The closest commercial airports are Reno–Tahoe International Airport in Reno and Elko Regional Airport in Elko.


The Humboldt Sun, the area newspaper, is published twice weekly.

Nomadic Broadcasting operates radio station KHYX-FM with a 50,000 watt signal on 102.7 FM and Translator K232BK on 94.3 FM, serving Winnemucca and its outlying communities. 102.7 is an adult contemporary format while 94.3 is a rock format. These two signals are HD.

Buckaroo Broadcasting operates radio station KWNA-FM[28] with a 25,000 watt signal and a country format.


Many of Winnemucca's residents are employed by large mining companies such as Newmont and Barrick Gold and by many companies servicing the gold mining industry. Carry-On Trailers employs over 100 residents at their manufacturing facility in the Airport Industrial Park. Winnemucca also has a decent and growing Nevada tourism base. Other area employers include Winnemucca Farms, casinos, hotels, motels and restaurants located in the city. Until 2013, Winnemucca Farms operated the world's largest potato dehydration plant. The Winnemucca area is still one of the largest potato farming areas in the world.

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