National Register of Historic Places in Humboldt County
The Winnemucca Hotel, which is likely the oldest building in Winnemucca, was constructed in four sections between 1863 and 1915.
The hotel first served wagon teams, miners, and stage line operators. With the arrival of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1869, it added rail passengers to its list of patrons and after 1919, the hotel served as a boardinghouse for Basque sheepherders.
It continues to be known for its Basque cuisine, and especially for its potent Basque drink, "picon punch."
The vast open ranges of Nevada were conducive to sheepraising, and during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it was a profitable industry.
As a railroad town, Winnemucca was perfectly situated to attract the hundreds of Basques who passed through town to and from the remote sheep camps in central Nevada. Hotels and boardinghouses catering to the Basque sheepherders played an important role in their lives and in the history of the Basques in the West. At one time, a number of Basque hotels operated in the Nevada communities of Winnemucca, Reno, Gardnerville, Paradise Valley, Elko, Carson City, Eureka, Austin, Battle Mountain, Fallon, Golconda, Jack Creek, Lovelock, McDermitt, Unionville, and Wellington.
Source: NRHP Nomination Form