The area surrounding what is now Lovelock was settled by Euro-Americans in the early 1860s, when several individuals established ranches near the Humboldt River. The eponymous George Lovelock purchased hundreds of acres in 1866, as well as the stage stop located along the Emigrant Trail. When the railroad arrived in 1868, he donated eighty-five acres to the Central Pacific as a townsite. The railroad provided Lovelock's ranchers and farmers with a ready means of shipping hay, alfalfa, sugar beets, wheat, and cattle to California.
Mining had little effect on Lovelock until the 1907 discovery of ore deposits at Seven Troughs and Vernon to the northwest. Lovelock flourished for the next two decades; buildings from that time represent the second period of the town's development. Growth culminated in Lovelock's selection as county seat for the newly formed Pershing County, carved out of Humboldt County in 1919. The construction of U.S. 40 in 1916 brought additional traffic through town. The railroad slowly declined, however, and I-80, completed in 1983, bypassed Lovelock. Despite new mining operations in the area, Lovelock is a quiet place, and many of its commercial buildings are vacant. This economic decline has, however, helped preserve many buildings in the downtown area and has discouraged the subdivisions that have transformed many other towns. On the other hand, it has also left many historic buildings vulnerable to neglect and demolition.
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