A number of ranches were founded along the Meadow Valley Wash as early as the 1870s, but the first actual communities were established in 1903 when the railroad was constructed through Rainbow Canyon. At each siding, spaced about five miles apart, a small population arose; Elgin was one of these communities.

With the growing number of children in the area, and the distance to the nearest school (Panaca), a school building was needed to serve the ranches in Rainbow Canyon. The first was built in Bullionville in about 1890, but it was still too far for wagons from Elgin. In 1921, funds were secured and a schoolhouse was finally built on seven acres of land donated by James Bradshaw. Bradshaw's son Reuben completed the schoolhouse in 1922, and two years later an addition was built to house the teacher. The Elgin Schoolhouse was used until 1967, and then became a residence for a Bradshaw family member. From the 1980s until 1998, the building sat empty. It was then restored to its original appearance and volunteers offered tours. In 2005, the Nevada Division of State Parks acquired the building, and it was designated a State Historic Site. Tours are available by appointment only.

I Visited Elgin