Although the area around Walker Lake in the Utah Territory was set aside for “Indian purposes” in 1859, it was not until 15 years later that President Grant signed the executive order formally establishing the Walker River Indian Reservation, on March 19, 1874.

Indian agent Calvin Bateman reported on August 31, 1874, that the reservation “is the home of at least six hundred Pah-utes, who if absent at all, are only so temporarily. Here the government has promised them an abiding-place, and justice and honor demand that the compact remain inviolate.  I am glad that the executive order ... reaffirms the obligation and sets at rest the question of its perpetuity.”

One hundred years later, in 1974, over 500 tribal members lived on the reservation.  The total land area, including the northern end of Walker Lake, exceeds 300,000 acres, as it did in 1874.