Nevada January 27, 2017
The Most Criminally Overlooked Town In Nevada And Why You Need To Visit
Despite its small size, the town of Eureka is full of historical character. With only about 600 residents (610 as of the last census in 2010) it’s still the largest town in Eureka County located in the middle of the state. Like many of Nevada’s small towns, it’s often overlooked as a point of interest in favor of the larger cities and attractions but make no mistake, Eureka has lots to offer! It’s the “Friendliest Town on the Loneliest Road” in America.
Eureka began as a mining town in 1864 and by 1878, the town population was at 10,000 due to the mining activity. As mining fortunes took a turn downwards, people moved away to more prosperous parts of the state.
The town has many older buildings in various states, from fully restored and well-trafficked to older and unused structures. The Eureka Nevada Historical Society prepared a
"self-guided walking tour"
that you can get on their website and use to explore the town.
The striking red brick building is the Jackson House Hotel built in 1877.
The original building was destroyed in a fire and a new building went up that was promoted as the "only fire-proof hotel" in the state. At the time, this was a big deal as fires were a big problem in mining towns in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Today the hotel is still in operation as not only a hotel but also a bar and grill on the ground floor. The Jackson House is located at 701 North Main Street.
One of the most well-known buildings in Eureka is the Eureka Opera House which first went up in 1880.
During its heyday, many famous performers were seen at the Eureka Opera House and movies, including silent movies in the early 1900's, were shown here. In the 1960s the building's use dwindled and the condition deteriorated until 1990 when a county-funded project began to restore it to its former glory. The refurbished Eureka Opera House opened in 1993 and has since served as a cultural center and meeting location.
You can see many historical touches in the opera house, such as the projector for the very first "talkies" movies and silent films and even the stage curtains from the 1920's. It's truly a spot with character and the spirit of the old Nevada mining days.
The Eureka Opera House is located at 31 South Main Street.
Another historical building is the Eureka Sentinel Museum which was the home of the main newspaper for the town in the 1800's.
The paper stopped publication in 1960 and the building now serves as a museum. You can see the printing equipment that was used to produce the papers and there are also exhibits featuring mining equipment and other collectibles from early life in Eureka. The building is also a Nevada Historic Marker. The Eureka Sentinel Museum is located at 10 North Monroe Street and it's open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm.
The Eureka County Courthouse is another of the striking brick buildings to be found in the town.
The building was built in 1880 and the inside is fully restored. The second floor courtroom area is particularly well preserved and it is one of only two 19th Century courthouses still being used in the state. The courthouse is located at 10 South Main Street.
Eureka is bordered by the Diamond Mountains range.
Diamond Peak is the highest peak in the range and in the county. It's a peak that doesn't get much traffic so you can definitely expect a quiet hike. You can also camp wherever you like without fees as the land is controlled by the BLM. This area is also the habitat for wild horses and is part of the Diamond Herd Management Area, so you may see see some roaming around and even up near the peak.
After a long day of historical touring and exploring, Eureka offers several restaurants.
The Owl Club & Steak House is a restaurant with a rustic ambiance to the interior. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with an American and Basque style menu. The restaurant is located at 61 North Main Street.
Pony Express Meats & Deli is a family owned deli with friendly staff that serves breakfast and lunch and is open from 6 am to 2 pm every day except Sunday.
In addition to their menu of breakfast burritos, pastries, sandwiches and burgers, you can buy canned jams, jellies and relishes prepared on-site, and custom meat including wild game like elk and deer. The deli is located at 101 Bullion Street.
Urban Cowboy and Grill is a bar and restaurant that serves delicious Mexican and American dishes.
The spot is recently remodeled and definitely is one of the newer buildings in the town. Come and enjoy the homemade tamales, chili relleno and other mouthwatering dishes! They are located at 121 North Main Street.
Finally, The Roost is an adorable little spot to grab a hot cup of coffee and a homemade donut.
The Roost serves breakfast items, smoothies, espresso and donuts and is open from 5 am to noon Monday through Friday and 8 am to noon on Sundays. The owner is known for being outgoing and friendly and everything is made on site. If you're making a drive through Eureka, this is a must visit to get some coffee and delicious donuts and turnovers. The Roost is located at 110 South Main Street.
Would you enjoy visiting Eureka? Share in the comments!