As early as 10,000 years ago, Native American hunting parties camped near here to hunt game.  About a thousand years ago, Shoshone-speaking people entered the region, where they continue to live today.  The name Jarbidge comes from a Shoshone word meaning “a bad or evil spirit.”

Dave Bourne discovered gold in this isolated area in 1909, and production eventually totaled $9 million.  Population size varied, but in the early 1920s, the Jarbidge district replaced fading Goldfield as the premier gold-producing area in Nevada. The Jarbidge mines failed beginning in the late 1920s.

On a stormy December 5, 1916, the last stagecoach robbery and murder in the history of the West took place in Jarbidge Canyon, ¼ mile south of the town.