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Winnemucca Hotel

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c. 1863, 1866, Louis and Theophile Lay. 95 Bridge St.
  • Winnemucca Hotel (Bret Morgan)

Winnemucca's oldest extant building also houses its oldest continually operating business. Located at the corner of Bridge and West 1st streets, the Winnemucca Hotel and its saloon took advantage of ferry traffic crossing the Humboldt River. It grew quickly in the 1860s, resulting in an L-shaped structure. Today the building consists of four distinct sections, the oldest at the corner. Owners have altered the wood-frame building over the years, removing the nineteenth-century porch after 1910 and adding brick-patterned composition siding over the original drop siding. The inset entrance at the east corner of the building leads into a large room with an ornately carved bar dating from the late nineteenth century. Behind the bar is a large dining room, and upstairs are rooms for boarders. The remaining three sections of the hotel were constructed in 1866. Built of brick rather than wood, and with arched rather than rectangular windows, these structures are somewhat more elaborate than the original part. The hip-roofed section flanking the main part of the hotel along Bridge Street has two large oriel windows on the second story.

In 1867 Louis and Theophile Lay and Frank Baud built a cottonwood-pole toll bridge 100 yards downstream from the ferry crossing, which increased traffic at the hotel. The building also housed the first stage stop and post office in Winnemucca. Around the turn of the century, Basques took over the business. Today the structure is one of the last Basque hotels in the state to house boarders and serve food.

Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta


What's Nearby


Julie Nicoletta, "Winnemucca Hotel", [Winnemucca, Nevada], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Nevada, Julie Nicoletta. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 136-137.

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