Here was a key point on Nevada’s earliest road, the famed Humboldt Trail that brought 165,000 immigrants west in the 1840s and 1850s. Travelers named this rich valley the Big Meadows. They stopped here for water and grass before continuing south to cross the dreaded Forty Mile Desert, the most difficult segment on the trail to California.
Mining began here in the 1850s. George Lovelock, merchant, rancher and prospector, gave his name to the county seat. The coming of the railroad in 1869 brought new growth to the area. Pershing County, established in 1919, was previously part of Humboldt County.