National Register of Historic Places in Pershing County
Colonel Joseph Marzen (1828-1916) built the Big Meadows Ranch House in 1875 as his residence and developed the surrounding area into a large and prosperous ranch.
The Italianate house is a two-story symmetrical building topped with a low-pitched hipped roof and decorated with ornate jigsaw cutout window moldings and cornerboards.
Marzen had come to Nevada in 1863 and took up the trade of butcher in Virginia City.
The year 1873 marked his first visit to the Lovelock Valley, when he drove in several thousand head of cattle. He returned two years later to purchase land in the Big Meadows area and build a home. He irrigated the land using the nearby Humboldt River and created rich fields of alfalfa, wheat, and pasture out of what was once only sagebrush. At the same time, he built the finest residence in the valley.
Shortly before being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the vacant house was moved one-and-one-half miles from its original site to the edge of the Big Meadow Ranch to allow for its reuse as a county museum.
The house remains in a rural setting at the edge of the town of Lovelock and is now accessible to the public. The original landscaping has been recreated with a simple lawn outlined by several trees.
Source: NRHP Nomination Form