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Elko, Nevada
—  City  —
Nickname(s): The Heart of Northeast Nevada[1]
Motto: The Best Small Town in America
Location of Elko, Nevada
Coordinates: 40°50′11″N 115°45′56″W / 40.83639°N 115.76556°W / 40.83639; -115.76556
Country United States
State Nevada
County Elko
First settled 1868
Designated County Seat 1869
Incorporated (city) 1917
Government
 - Mayor Michael J Franzoia
 - Senate Dean Rhoads (R)
 - Assembly John C. Carpenter (R)
 - U.S. Congress Dean Heller (R)
Area
 - Total 14.5 sq mi (37.5 km2)
 - Land 14.5 sq mi (37.5 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 5,066 ft (1,544 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 16,708
 Density 1,153.3/sq mi (445.3/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Codes 89801-89803
Area code(s) 775
FIPS code 32-22500
GNIS feature ID 0845452
Website www.ci.elko.nv.us
Elko, Nevada
Elko, Nevada

Coordinates: 40°50′11″N 115°45′56″W / 40.83639°N 115.76556°W / 40.83639; -115.76556

Elko is a city in Elko County, Nevada, United States. The population was 16,980 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Elko County.[2] It straddles the Humboldt River.

Elko is the principal city of the Elko Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Elko and Eureka counties[3] and had a combined population of 46,942 at the 2000 census.[4]

It is home to Great Basin College.

Contents

History

Elko was first inhabited 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.[5]

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 o to Elk. There is no definitive evidence of this naming history, but it has become the widely accepted version.[5]

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 Elko, Nevada 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.[6]

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.

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.5 square miles (37.5 km²), all land; though the path of the Humboldt River fills from time to time.

January is normally the coldest month of the year, with an average maximum of 37.1 °F (2.8 °C) and an average minimum of 14.1 °F (−9.9 °C). July is normally the warmest month of the year, with an average maximum of 89.6 °F (32.0 °C) and an average minimum of 48.6 °F (9.2 °C). There are an average of 42 days annually with a maximum of 90° (32°C) or higher, and an average of 193 days annually with a minimum of 32° (0°C) or lower. Annual precipitation averages 9.57 inches (24.3 cm), falling on an average of 79 days. Annual snowfall averages with 28.2 inches (72 cm). There are normally 130 sunny days each year.[7] The highest temperature on record is 108 °F (42 °C) on July 28, 1889, and the lowest on record is −43 °F (−41.7 °C) on January 21, 1937. The most rainfall in 24 hours was 3.30 inches (8.4 cm) on April 22, 1925. The most rainfall in one month was 5.71 inches (14.5 cm) in January 1916. The most rainfall in one year was 18.34 inches (46.6 cm) in 1983. The least rainfall in one year was 4.35 inches (11.0 cm) in 1919. The most snowfall in one month was 45.7 inches (116 cm) in January 1996. The most snowfall in one year was 100.8 inches (256 cm) in 1996.[8]

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 65 70 78 86 97 104 108 107 99 88 78 65
Norm High °F 37.0 42.9 51.2 59.3 68.6 79.9 89.6 88.1 78.2 65.0 48.1 38.2
Norm Low °F 14.1 19.7 26.0 29.9 36.9 43.5 48.7 47.0 38.2 28.4 20.9 13.9
Rec Low °F -43 -37 -9 -2 10 23 30 20 9 1 -12 -38
Precip (in) 1.14 0.88 0.98 0.81 1.08 0.67 0.30 0.36 0.68 0.71 1.05 0.93
Source: NCDC

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1870 1,160
1880 752 −35.2%
1890 766 1.9%
1900 849 10.8%
1910 1,677 97.5%
1920 2,173 29.6%
1930 3,217 48.0%
1940 4,094 27.3%
1950 5,393 31.7%
1960 6,298 16.8%
1970 7,621 21.0%
1980 8,758 14.9%
1990 14,736 68.3%
2000 16,708 13.4%
Est. 2007 17,180 2.8%
source:[9][10]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 16,708 people, 8,505 households, and 5,287 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,153.3 people per square mile (445.2/km²). There were 6,948 housing units at an average density of 479.6/sq mi (185.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.5% White, 0.3% African American, 5.4% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 8.6% from other races, and 2.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.4% of the population.

There were 8,505 households out of which 40.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.1% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.5 years. For every 100 females there were 104.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $48,656, and the median income for a family was $52,263. Males had a median income of $42,155 versus $26,823 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,680. About 6.1% of families and 8.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.9% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Elko is the largest city between Salt Lake City and Reno located along Interstate 80. Passenger service to Elko is available on Greyhound Lines, Amtrak's twice-daily California Zephyr, and from SkyWest Airlines, which serves Elko Regional Airport from Salt Lake City.

Culture

Each January, Elko is the host to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. This festival is a week-long celebration of life in the rural West, featuring the contemporary and traditional arts that arise from lives lived close to the land. Poetry, music, stories, gear, film, photography, food – all contribute to the texture of an event that has become an annual ritual for thousands of people who value the people and cultures that live and work in the American West.

Elko is the home to the Western Folklife Center, which is regional nonprofit organization that works to expand our understanding of the everyday traditions of people who live and work in the American West. The Western Folklife Center is located Downtown in the old Pioneer hotel.

Every July, Elko is host to the National Basque Festival. The Basque people are a rich culture that has roots deep in the Elko community. The "Basco Fiasco" as it is humorously referred to, is a celebration on traditional Basque culture and its ties to the Elko community. The festival includes strong man competitions, a running of the bulls, traditional food and wine, and Basque Dancing.

Elko is home to a number of casinos, including Stockmen's, the Commercial, the High Desert Casino, Gold Dust West, the Red Lion, and the Gold Country Motor Inn. The Commercial Casino is notable for having a stuffed ten foot tall polar bear on display. For many years the Red Lion brought gamblers to Elko from many parts of the country through flights on Casino Express. The flights to Elko ended in February 2006.

Elko is also home to legal prostitutes and contains active brothels. Under Nevada law, any county with a population of less than 400,000 is allowed to license brothels if it so chooses.[11]

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Cultural references in art

  • Elko was the main setting for Roland Smith's novel Zach's Lie.
  • Elko was one of the settings and filming locations of the 2005 film Don't Come Knocking, directed by Wim Wenders, and co-written by Wenders and Sam Shepard. The character Howard Spence (Shepard), a troubled actor in western films, runs off from a film set and visits his mother in Elko.
  • Elko and Elko County are major settings in Dean Koontz's novel Strangers.
  • Elko is where the ill-fated brothers end up in Willy Vlautin's first novel The Motel Life.
  • "Fear and Loathing in Elko" is a short story by Hunter S. Thompson
  • Elko is mentioned as the one place he would like to be if he could choose, by the lead character, "Phil the Weatherman", played by actor Bill Murray, in the very beginning of the movie, Groundhog Day.

Media

Newspapers

Television

Radio

References

  1. ^ Welcome to the City of Elko
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-07-27.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ a b Hickson, Howard (Fall 1983). "Elko, Nevada: 1868-1968". Northeastern Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 83 (4). 
  6. ^ Hickson, Howard (Fall 1970). "Dirt Runways: Elko Airport - The Early Years (1919-1926)". Northeastern Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 1 (2). 
  7. ^ climate-zone
  8. ^ http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?nv2573
  9. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850-1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 155.
  10. ^ "Subcounty population estimates: Nevada 2000-2007" (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-03-18. http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/files/SUB-EST2007-32.csv. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  11. ^ §244.345, Nevada Revised Statutes. Accessed 2008-07-27.

External links


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