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Golconda was settled during the 1860s when mining commenced in the nearby mountains. The town's founders optimistically took its name from a city in Hyderabad, India, once famed for its wealth in diamonds. In 1862 Louis and Theophile Lay, who had helped settle Winnemucca, began construction of the Humboldt Canal. Originally intended to irrigate lands to the south and to power ore mills as far east as Unionville, the canal was completed only as far as Golconda. As a result, agriculture and ranching flourished in and around the town. When the Central Pacific Railroad arrived in 1868, it provided Golconda with a new and faster way to export its products.

Once a prosperous mining, agricultural, and railroad town, Golconda is now sparsely settled, with one-story houses and trailers. The small commercial center consists of a row of gas stations and stores along old U.S. 40. Along the north end of town are the railroad tracks, now owned by Union Pacific. A few structures stand along Stanford Street, across the tracks from the main part of town. Today, despite profitable mining operations nearby, most mining employees choose to live in larger towns like Winnemucca or Battle Mountain. I-80 has also kept most passersby away, leaving Golconda a quiet place.

Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta

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