“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Elko in Elko County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)


Entertainment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Theresa Hilton Small, November 14, 2019
1. Entertainment Marker
Inscription.  There were all sorts of games and vices in progress and only two men were killed the day I arrived,” reported a newcomer to Elko in 1869. Legend has it, in the early days of Elko, it was a rough and tumble cowboy town. There were reportedly 45 bars throughout town; more than any other business in 1869 and the town's population was 1,000. The rough, drinking, cowboy town of that time has followed Elko through most of it's history.

Gambling has been present in Elko since the town's establishment. After all, this was the Wild West. Hotels offered card and table games in various forms. Prohibition, banning most alcohol sales, was enforced nation wide from January 1, 1920 through December 5, 1933. Gaming, as it is known today, was legalized in Nevada in March of 1931. As a draw for tourists and gamblers, the Commercial Hotel hired big name entertainers to perform. Noted singers Sophie Tucker, Paul Whiteman and the Marx Brothers. Hotels in Reno and Las Vegas were impressed with the increased visitors and copied the idea as well. And.... The rest is history.

Bing Crosby came to Elko in 1948 and liked Elko so

Entertainment Marker on far right of three. image. Click for full size.
By Theresa Hilton Small, November 14, 2019
2. Entertainment Marker on far right of three.
much he became a frequent visitor and bought a few ranching properties north and east of Elko. He was also named “Honorary Mayor of Elko”. The world premier of his film “Here Comes the Groom” was held in Elko at the Hunter Theater in 1951.

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering began in Elko in 1985. The Gathering has received international attention. People gather to listen to traditional poets, hear cowboy stories, dance, listen to music and hear about cowboy traditions. The event has grown in popularity and has become a highly regarded event, with people from all parts of the world attending.

Since the 1890s, many people of Basque descent have immigrated to the area from the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. Many came as sheep herders seeking economic opportunity. Elko has been host to the National Basque Festival every July since 1963. During the event, one can watch strongman competitions, handball, and taste the food and wine of the Basque Country. Visitors also enjoy the music and can watch or participate in the traditional dances.

Houses of “ill fame and repute" have been present in Elko since the town's beginnings. An early resident of Elko commented, “There are many families and great many women that ain't families.” In 1937, brothels became legal under Nevada law in counties

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with populations under 700,000. The area in Elko was referred to as the “restricted district,” They operate today as businesses in Elko, abiding by strict local laws and regulations.
Erected 2017 by the City of Elko.
Location. 40° 49.996′ N, 115° 45.615′ W. Marker is in Elko, Nevada, in Elko County. Marker is at the intersection of Commercial Street and 7th Street, on the right when traveling south on Commercial Street. Located in Elko Railroad Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Commercial Street, Elko NV 89801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Railroad (a few steps from this marker); Missouri Flats (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Inhabitants (within shouting distance of this marker); Growth and Industry (within shouting distance of this marker); Education (within shouting distance of this marker); Pioneer Saloon and Hotel (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Elko County High School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Elko Independent (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elko.
More about this marker. 7th Street, between Commercial & Railroad Streets, was closed off to combine the two portions of the park.
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Credits. This page was last revised on November 15, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 15, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 61 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 15, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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