Winnemucca (/ˌwɪnəˈmʌkə/ ( )) is the only incorporated city in and is the county seat of Humboldt County, Nevada, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 7,396, up 3.1 percent from the 2000 census figure of 7,174. Interstate 80 passes through the city, where it meets U.S. Route 95.
History and culture
The town was named for the 19th-century Chief Winnemucca of the local Northern Paiute tribe, who traditionally lived in this area. He and his band had a camp near here. Winnemucca, loosely translated, means "one moccasin." The chief's daughter, Sarah Winnemucca, was an advocate for education and fair treatment of the Paiute and Shoshone tribes in the area. Their family all learned to speak English, and Sarah worked as an interpreter, scout and messenger for the United States Army during the Bannock War of 1878. In 1883 Sarah Winnemucca published the first autobiography written by a Native American woman, based on hundreds of lectures she'd given in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. It has been described as "one of the most enduring ethno-historical books written by an American Indian."
On September 16, 1868, the Central Pacific Railroad reached Winnemucca, and was officially opened on October 1 of that year. It was on the First Transcontinental Railroad. It was part of the transcontinental line.
Basque immigrants worked as sheep-herders starting in the mid-19th century. In honor of this heritage, Winnemucca hosts an annual Basque Festival.
On September 19, 1900, Butch Cassidy's gang robbed the First National Bank of Winnemucca of $32,640.
Winnemucca's brothel district, while smaller now than in the 1980s, is known as "The Line" or "The Ring Circle", based on the layout of the street where the brothels are located. Sex workers in the town must register their vehicles with the local police.
According to a billboard along State Route 140 (the "Winnemucca to the Sea Highway"), Winnemucca styles itself "The City of Paved Streets".
Winnemucca is home to the Buckaroo Hall of Fame and Heritage Museum. It is also the headquarters of the Flawedcast Network.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Winnemucca had a vibrant Chinatown. The Chinese originally came to the area as workers on the transcontinental Central Pacific Railroad, which reached Winnemucca in 1868. Some remained or returned to settle. During the 1890s, around 400 Chinese formed a community in the town. Among their prominent buildings was the Joss House on Baud Street, a place of worship and celebration. In 1911 the community was visited by Sun Yat-Sen, later to become Chinese president. He was on a fund-raising tour of the United States to help the Xinhai Revolution. The Joss House, the last structure associated with Chinatown, was demolished on March 8, 1955, by order of the Winnemucca City Council.
Geography and climate
Winnemucca is located at (40.968212, −117.726662).
Winnemucca's climate is semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSk), averaging a mere 8.28 in (210 mm) of precipitation annually. Summer days tend to be hot, but the temperature drops significantly at night. Winters are cold with generally light snow, with 20.9 in (53 cm) falling during a typical year. The highest recorded temperature in Winnemucca was 109 °F (43 °C), on July 11, 2002, and the lowest recorded temperature was −37 °F (−38 °C) on December 22, 1990. Freezing temperatures have been observed in every month of the year.
|Climate data for Winnemucca, Nevada (Winnemucca Municipal Airport), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1877–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||68|
|Average high °F (°C)||41.6|
|Average low °F (°C)||18.7|
|Record low °F (°C)||−36|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.87|
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||3.8|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||8.2||7.8||8.2||7.7||6.8||4.1||2.3||2.0||3.2||4.7||7.8||8.0||70.8|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||4.7||3.5||2.7||1.9||0.2||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.5||2.9||4.6||21.0|
|Average relative humidity (%)||69.9||61.9||55.3||46.5||40.4||37.6||28.8||30.0||36.5||47.8||63.0||69.3||48.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||161.2||174.5||228.3||263.3||331.1||346.6||398.3||358.5||306.5||257.5||153.3||148.9||3,128|
|Percent possible sunshine||54||59||62||66||74||77||87||84||82||75||51||52||70|
|Source #1: NOAA (sun and relative humidity 1961–1990)|
|Source #2: Weather Channel (extremes)|
|Largest ancestries (2000) ||Percent|
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,174 people, 2,736 households, and 1,824 families residing in the city. The population density was 867.5 people per square mile (334.9/km²). There were 3,280 housing units at an average density of 396.6 per square mile (153.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.41% White, 2.23% African American, 0.89% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.60% from other races, and 3.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 20.74% of the population.
There were 2,736 households out of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the city, the population was spread out with 30.2% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 105.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $46,699, and the median income for a family was $53,681. Males had a median income of $47,917 versus $26,682 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,441. About 7.5% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.8% of those under the age of 18 and 8.1% of those 65 and older.
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Winnemucca. The California Zephyr provides a daily service in both directions between San Francisco and Chicago. The Winnemucca passenger rail station, at 209 West Railroad Street, is now unstaffed. Amtrak tickets for railway transportation in Winnemucca can be purchased online.
Historically, since 1867, Winnemucca has been a station on the Transcontinental Railroad.
Local aviation needs are served by the Winnemucca Municipal Airport, located about 5 miles southwest of downtown. There are no scheduled passenger services. The closest commercial airport is Reno–Tahoe International Airport in Reno.
The Humboldt Sun is the local Winnemucca twice weekly area newspaper.
Nomadic Broadcasting operates radio station KHYX-FM with a 100,000 watt signal on 102.7 FM and Translator K232BK on 94.3 FM, serving Winnemucca and its outlying communities. 102.7 is an adult contemporary format while 94.3 is a rock format. These two signals are HD.
Many of Winnemucca's residents are employed by large mining companies such as Newmont and Barrick Gold and by many companies servicing the gold mining industry. Carry-On Trailers employs over 100 residents at their manufacturing facility in the Airport Industrial Park. Winnemucca also has a decent and growing Nevada tourism base. Other area employers include Winnemucca Farms, casinos, hotels, motels and restaurants located in the city. Until 2013, Winnemucca Farms operated the world's largest potato dehydration plant here. The Winnemucca area is still one of the largest potato farming areas in the world. 
Humboldt County School District operates the area schools serving Winnemucca.
There are three K-4 elementary schools, Grass Valley, Sonoma Heights, and Winnemucca Grammar School, serve sections of Winnemucca. All of Winnemucca is zoned to French Ford Middle School (5–6), Winnemucca Junior High School (7–8), and Albert M. Lowry High School (9–12). Lowry High's mascot is the Buckaroos.
- Ralph V. Whitworth, Businessman and philanthropist
- Vernon Alley, musician
- Sharron Angle, Member of the Nevada Assembly; taught art for five years as a lecturer at Western Nevada Community College in Winnemucca
- Henry F. Ashurst, United States Senator (Arizona)
- Howard P. Becker, sociology professor
- Bill Berry, basketball coach
- Jace Billingsley, wide receiver for the Detroit Lions
- Warren Harrison, computer science professor, editor-in-chief of IEEE Software (2003-2006)
- George S. Nixon, United States Senator (Nevada)
- Lute Pease, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist
- Gordon Rhodes, baseball player
- Bob Tallman, rodeo announcer
- Clarence D. Van Duzer, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives; had his ashes scattered on the Humboldt River near Winnemucca
In popular culture
Winnemucca is mentioned in the American version of the song "I've Been Everywhere", recorded, for instance, by Hank Snow (1962), the Statler Brothers (1973), Lynn Anderson (1970), and Johnny Cash (1993). The song begins, "I was totin' my pack along the dusty Winnemucca road."
Winnemucca is featured prominently in the novel Revoltingly Young by C.D. Payne.
In the game Civilization V, Winnemucca is one of the cities which the Shoshone nation can found.
Winnemucca is also a setting in two Tales of the City novels – More Tales of the City and The Days of Anna Madrigal, a series of nine novels by American author Armistead Maupin. Over 6 million copies of the novels has been sold worldwide. A character in the series, Mother Mucca, takes her nickname from the town. The series began as a newspaper column in the Pacific Sun in 1975, before moving to the San Francisco Chronicle. It features some of the first positive portrayals of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lives. Anna Madrigal, a transgender character was depicted as having been born as Andy Ramsey in Winnemucca, Nevada. The series was made into a TV series with the character of Anna Madrigal played by Olympia Dukakis.