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.
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.