Tuscarora- Independence Mill
Unk. Bruneau River Homestead
Elko County was originally part of Lander County. It was established as Elko County in 1869. The Central Pacific Railroad established a route through the towns of Carlin, Elko and Wells (originally Humboldt Wells) in 1868. The city of Elko sprang up as a very rough and violent tent camp. Elko was the original county seat of Elko County and has always maintained that status. Elko was the original home of the University of Nevada, which was moved to Reno in 1884. Elko County has always had very strong roots in cattle ranching and mining. There have been times in the history of Elko County where it has been the number one producer of beef cattle in the entire United States. Elko County was ranked 7th in the nation for beef cattle numbers last year. Northern Nevada and Elko County sit in the heart of the Great Basin of the American West. The word "Buckaroo" originates from this region. There are different versions on the origins of the term Buckaroo. Many believe that when the Spanish Vaqueros from this region were teaching their skills to the white cowboys, the word "Vaquero" was eventually bastardized into "Buckaroo". For almost 40 years, ranchers and cowboys from all over the west have chosen Elko to be the home of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. This event is a gathering of educational classes on ranching and cattle raising. Elko County also includes a major gold mining industry. Some of the largest gold mining operations in the world are in Elko County. The population of the county was approximately 53,000 residents in 2019.