Named for its view of Washoe Lake, Lakeview was the site of a waystation established in the early 1860s by James M. Thompson. In 1865, it became a stop on Dyer's Toll Road between Carson City and Steamboat Springs. Thompson's Inn became a popular place for picnics, hunting, and other activities on Washoe Lake until it was destroyed by fire on March 29, 1871.

Around 1870, Lakeview became the terminus of the nine-mile lumber flume from Marlette Lake, and in August 1872 Lakeview was reached by the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Sidings were constructed to load timber and cordwood for shipping to the Comstock Lode. In 1873, the Virginia & Gold Hill Water Company built a water pipe and residence to house Captain John B. Overton, superintendent of the Company. Electricity was supplied to the house in 1875 when a second pipeline and Pelton wheel were constructed, and in 1887 a third pipeline was completed to provide water to Virginia City. The entire water system was purchased in August 1957 by the Curtis-Wright Corporation (who had failed plans for a missile testing program), and that December by the Marlette Lake Company, whose later improvements included a pumping station and steel pipelines.

Today, water is still provided to Virginia City by the Marlette Lake pipeline. The Lakeview House from 1873 still stands as a private residence, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.