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Elko, Nevada
Elko, Nevada


Elko is a city in Elko Countymarker, Nevadamarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 16,980 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Elko Countymarker .

Elko is the principal city of the Elko Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Elko and Eurekamarker counties and had a combined population of 46,942 at the 2000 census.

History

Elko was first inhabited in 1868, when it was at the East end of the railroad tracks built by Central Pacific Railroad (the portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad built from California to Utah). When the railroad crews moved on, Elko remained, serving as a ranch and mining freight and supply center.

Elko is said to have been named by Charles Crocker, a superintendent of the Central Pacific Railroad. He was especially fond of animal names and added o to Elk. There is no definitive evidence of this naming history, but it has become the widely accepted version.

The first Elko County Courthousemarker was built in 1869.

In 1925, the Kelly Act (also known as the Airmail Act of 1925) authorized the U.S. Post Office to contract with private airlines for the feeder routes that fed the main transcontinental route. The first commercial airmail flight in the United States was on the 487 mile Airmail Route #5 from Pasco, Washingtonmarker to Elko, Nevada on April 6, 1926. The flight was piloted by Leon D. Cuddeback and included a brief stop in Boise, Idahomarker to pick up more mail.

The 1910 replacement for the original courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The US Post Office-Elko Main, built in 1933, is also listed.

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.5 square miles (37.5 km²), all land; though the path of the Humboldt River fills from time to time.

January is normally the coldest month of the year, with an average maximum of and an average minimum of . July is normally the warmest month of the year, with an average maximum of and an average minimum of . There are an average of 42 days annually with a maximum of 90° (32°C) or higher, and an average of 193 days annually with a minimum of 32° (0°C) or lower. Annual precipitation averages , falling on an average of 79 days. Annual snowfall averages with . There are normally 130 sunny days each year. The highest temperature on record is on July 28, 1889, and the lowest on record is on January 21, 1937. The most rainfall in 24 hours was on April 22, 1925. The most rainfall in one month was in January 1916. The most rainfall in one year was in 1983. The least rainfall in one year was in 1919. The most snowfall in one month was in January 1996. The most snowfall in one year was in 1996.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 65 70 78 86 97 104 108 107 99 88 78 65
Norm High °F 37.0 42.9 51.2 59.3 68.6 79.9 89.6 88.1 78.2 65.0 48.1 38.2
Norm Low °F 14.1 19.7 26.0 29.9 36.9 43.5 48.7 47.0 38.2 28.4 20.9 13.9
Rec Low °F -43 -37 -9 -2 10 23 30 20 9 1 -12 -38
Precip (in) 1.14 0.88 0.98 0.81 1.08 0.67 0.30 0.36 0.68 0.71 1.05 0.93
Source: NCDC


Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 16,708 people, 8,505 households, and 5,287 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,153.3 people per square mile (445.2/km²). There were 6,948 housing units at an average density of 479.6/sq mi (185.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.5% White, 0.3% African American, 5.4% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 8.6% from other races, and 2.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.4% of the population.

There were 8,505 households out of which 40.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.1% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.5 years. For every 100 females there were 104.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $48,656, and the median income for a family was $52,263. Males had a median income of $42,155 versus $26,823 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,680. About 6.1% of families and 8.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.9% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Elko is the largest city between Salt Lake Citymarker and Renomarker located along Interstate 80. Passenger service to Elko is available on Greyhound Lines, Amtrak's twice-daily California Zephyr, and from SkyWest Airlines, which serves Elko Regional Airportmarker from Salt Lake City.

Culture

Each January, Elko is the host to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. This festival is a week-long celebration of life in the rural West, featuring the contemporary and traditional arts that arise from lives lived close to the land. Poetry, music, stories, gear, film, photography, food – all contribute to the texture of an event that has become an annual ritual for thousands of people who value the people and cultures that live and work in the American West.

Elko is the home to the Western Folklife Center, which is regional nonprofit organization that works to expand our understanding of the everyday traditions of people who live and work in the American West. The Western Folklife Center is located Downtown in the old Pioneer hotel.

Every July, Elko is host to the National Basque Festival. The Basque people are a rich culture that has roots deep in the Elko community. The "Basco Fiasco" as it is humorously referred to, is a celebration on traditional Basque culture and its ties to the Elko community. The festival includes strong man competitions, a running of the bulls, traditional food and wine, and Basque Dancing.

Elko is home to a number of casinos, including Stockmen's, the Commercial, the High Desert Casino, Gold Dust West, the Red Lion, and the Gold Country Motor Inn. The Commercial Casino is notable for having a stuffed ten foot tall polar bear on display. For many years the Red Lion brought gamblers to Elko from many parts of the country through flights on Casino Express. The flights to Elko ended in February 2006.

Elko is also home to legal prostitutes and contains active brothels. Under Nevadamarker law, any county with a population of less than 400,000 is allowed to license brothels if it so chooses.

Cultural references in art

  • Elko was the main setting for Roland Smith's novel Zach's Lie.
  • Elko was one of the settings and filming locations of the 2005 film Don't Come Knocking, directed by Wim Wenders, and co-written by Wenders and Sam Shepard. The character Howard Spence (Shepard), a troubled actor in western films, runs off from a film set and visits his mother in Elko.
  • Elko and Elko County are major settings in Dean Koontz's novel Strangers.
  • Elko is where the ill-fated brothers end up in Willy Vlautin's first novel The Motel Life.
  • "Fear and Loathing in Elko" is a short story by Hunter S. Thompson


Media

Newspapers



Television



Radio



References

  1. MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-07-27.
  2. climate-zone
  3. http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?nv2573
  4. §244.345, Nevada Revised Statutes. Accessed 2008-07-27.


External links




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