- Pioche, Nevada
Pioche is a town located in Lincoln County,
Nevada, 180 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The population is approximately 700. It is the county seatof Lincoln County. It is named after François Louis Alfred Pioche, a San Francisco financier.
The first settlement of the area occurred in 1864 with the opening of a
silvermine. The area was abandoned for a short time due to hostile Indians. It was reorganized in 1868, and François Pioche bought the town in 1869. By the early 1870s, it had grown to become one of the most important silver-mining towns in Nevada.
The town had a reputation for being one of the roughest towns in the
Old West. Local lore says 75 men were killed in gunfights before the first natural death occurred in the camp. This legend is immortalized by the creation of Boot Hill, now a landmark in the city.
Landmarks and attractions
Pioche is known for its "Million Dollar Courthouse," built in 1871. The original cost of $88,000 far exceeded initial estimates and was financed and refinanced with bonds totalling nearly $1 million. Pioche currently contains the county administrative offices and has one of the oldest grade schools in the state.
Not far from the Court House sits the old Mountain View Hotel, where President Herbert Hoover is said to have stayed in 1930. Built in 1895, the old Hotel served the lodging needs of dignitaries visiting Pioche on court business. Although the building no longer serves as a hotel, it still serves as a superb example of turn-of-the-century western architecture. There is another hotel, the Overland, which is still operating, with 14 themed rooms, on the second floor over the main saloon.
A tram stretches across the mountains where the city lays and was built by Francis Walker in the mid 19th century. The tram navigates up and down various mountains using a small motor and mostly gravity to power its carts uphill.
Labor Dayin September, the population swells when tourists and old locals come to taste the small town atmosphere. Tourists can participate in a variety of mucking events and view heritage day plays, which plays are based upon true Pioche stories and focuses on local heritage.
Current-day Pioche now boasts a well-developed downtown area, with parks, historic buildings and a vintage mining atmosphere. A
Christmas treelighting occurs each December, with a public tree decorated by locals. Visitors can still see the ore cars dangling overhead which used to carry the ore to the refinery, farther down the hill.
* [http://www.piochenevada.com Pioche Chamber of Commerce]
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