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The History of Elko city

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The History of Elko city

Although Elko lies along the route of the historic California Trail, it was first inhabited only in 1868, when it was at the east end of the railroad tracks built by Central Pacific Railroad (the portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad built from California to Utah). When the railroad crews moved on, Elko remained, serving as a ranch and mining freight and supply center.

Elko is said to have been named by Charles Crocker, a superintendent of the Central Pacific Railroad. He was especially fond of animal names and added the letter "o" to Elk. There is no definitive evidence of this naming history, but it has become the widely accepted version.

The first Elko County Courthouse was built in 1869.

In 1925, the Kelly Act (also known as the Airmail Act of 1925) authorized the U.S. Post Office to contract with private airlines for the feeder routes that fed the main transcontinental route. The first commercial airmail flight in the United States was on the 487 mile Airmail Route #5 from Pasco, Washington to what would become Elko Regional Airport on April 6, 1926. The flight was piloted by Leon D. Cuddeback and included a brief stop in Boise, Idaho to pick up more mail.

The 1910 replacement for the original courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The US Post Office-Elko Main, built in 1933, is also listed.

Elko is also the home of the annual Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and has been for the last 27 years. It plays host to all forms of western entertainment, from music and dancing, to poetry performances. One of the very renowned cowboy poets, who has been performing there for over 20 years, is Montana native Paul Zarzyski.

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