Lincoln County

Pioche's "Million Dollar Courthouse" Built 1871

Lincoln County was established in 1866 when Congress pushed Nevada's state line to the east to encompass mining discoveries in the Pahranagat Mining District. All of Lincoln County was created from land that previously belonged to the Utah and Arizona Territories. Crystal Spring was designated the first county seat, but the following year it moved to Hiko. In 1867, Lincoln County was expanded when Nevada acquired land reaching to the Colorado River (including what would later become Las Vegas). By 1871 the Pahranagat mines were abandoned, and the county seat was moved to the thriving silver camp of Pioche - where it remains.

Just after the turn of the century, rails reached Lincoln County when the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad was constructed. Important new towns like Las Vegas and Caliente were created, and a short line was built connecting to Pioche. In response to the growth of Las Vegas as a rail hub, Clark County was created from the southern half of Lincoln in 1909.

Extraterrestrial Highway

In addition to mines and rails, farming has also played an integral part in Lincoln County's history. A handful of agricultural communities - most notably Panaca - have been around since the late 1800s. Another infamous locale in Lincoln County is Rachel. Located along State Route 375 "The Extraterrestrial Highway", Rachel is known as a hotspot for UFO and alien activity, and is also the closest town to the US Government's elusive Area 51. Lincoln County is also home to more Nevada State Parks than any other county.