Nevada Traveler: Visitor information and a bit of history found at Elko’s Sherman Station

Historic Sherman Station Visitors Center, which serves as the home of the Elko Chamber of Commerce.

Historic Sherman Station Visitors Center, which serves as the home of the Elko Chamber of Commerce.

Visitor information and a bit of history found at Elko’s Sherman Station

Elko’s Chamber of Commerce isn’t housed in some bland office building. Befitting the region’s rich history, the chamber is, instead, located inside a rough-hewn, 118-year-old former ranch house and stagecoach stop known as Sherman Station.

The ranch house, built of old-growth limber pine, along with four other wooden structures, was relocated to Elko from a Huntington Valley ranch (about 60 miles south) in 1997. The five buildings were restored to their original condition and transformed into the chamber’s offices, a visitor center, and a historic museum complex, all open to the public.

Inside the main ranch house, visitors can view a re-creation of an early 1900s parlor, which contains original artifacts and antiques that belonged to the Walther family, the station’s original owners.

Additionally, the 4,800-square-foot log ranch house has a meeting room and events center along with a gift shop and the chamber offices.

Adjacent to the ranch house is the restored log stable, built in 1880 and the oldest building on the site. Originally used by the stagecoach teams, it now houses a barbed wire collection, a horseshoe exhibit, a branding iron display, and several different types of horse-drawn carriages (sans horses).

Other historic wooden buildings on the premises include the Blacksmith Shop, which now hosts a permanent display of vintage blacksmithing equipment including a hand crank forge, and the old Creamery, which contains containers and equipment the Walther family used to separate and store milk and byproducts.

The former schoolhouse appears ready for classes to begin with an antique teacher’s desk, pot belly stove, map, and blackboard displayed the way it looked a century ago.

Sherman Station traces its beginnings to the early 20th century, when rancher Valentine Walther erected the log house on his property along Sherman Creek in Huntington Valley.

Walther and his wife Sophie had homesteaded 600 acres in about 1875. The Walthers’ lived in two covered wagons during their first few years in the valley before building a small log cabin.

Somehow, the two managed to raise 12 children in the cabin (eight girls and four boys). In 1895, Sophie was killed in a carriage accident.

Shortly after her death, Valentine Walther and a friend, Nick Scott, began construction of the two-story log house. Apparently, it took three years to cut and haul the dense pine logs from the Ruby Mountains, another three years to trim and shape them and a year to assemble the logs into a house.

Finished in 1903, the ranch house also served as a post office (called Sherman) as well as a stagecoach stop (on the line heading south to the mining town of Hamilton) and community center.

At the time of its construction, it was considered the largest log house in the state.

For many years, Walther operated what was considered one of the best orchards in the state, raising cherries, plums, apricots and apples. Several of his original trees still stand on the former site of the station.

The Walthers owned the ranch and log buildings until about the 1920s — family members still live in the Elko area. Several later owners lived in the big house until the 1970s, when it ceased to be used.

In 1995, Peter and Kathy Scheidemann donated the historic structures to the Elko Chamber, which was able to obtain grants to pay for moving them to Elko. The restored buildings opened in 1999.

The Sherman Station Visitors Center is located on the corner of 14th and Idaho streets in Elko. It is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, although many of the other buildings may be closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

For information, go to www.exploreelko.com/attractions/sherman_station.php.

Rich Moreno writes about the places and people that make Nevada special.

By Richard Moreno

Visitor information and a bit of history found at Elko’s Sherman Station

Elko’s Chamber of Commerce isn’t housed in some bland office building. Befitting the region’s rich history, the chamber is, instead, located inside a rough-hewn, 118-year-old former ranch house and stagecoach stop known as Sherman Station.

The ranch house, built of old-growth limber pine, along with four other wooden structures, was relocated to Elko from a Huntington Valley ranch (about 60 miles south) in 1997. The five buildings were restored to their original condition and transformed into the chamber’s offices, a visitor center, and a historic museum complex, all open to the public.

Inside the main ranch house, visitors can view a re-creation of an early 1900s parlor, which contains original artifacts and antiques that belonged to the Walther family, the station’s original owners.

Additionally, the 4,800-square-foot log ranch house has a meeting room and events center along with a gift shop and the chamber offices.

Adjacent to the ranch house is the restored log stable, built in 1880 and the oldest building on the site. Originally used by the stagecoach teams, it now houses a barbed wire collection, a horseshoe exhibit, a branding iron display, and several different types of horse-drawn carriages (sans horses).

Other historic wooden buildings on the premises include the Blacksmith Shop, which now hosts a permanent display of vintage blacksmithing equipment including a hand crank forge, and the old Creamery, which contains containers and equipment the Walther family used to separate and store milk and byproducts.

The former schoolhouse appears ready for classes to begin with an antique teacher’s desk, pot belly stove, map, and blackboard displayed the way it looked a century ago.

Sherman Station traces its beginnings to the early 20th century, when rancher Valentine Walther erected the log house on his property along Sherman Creek in Huntington Valley.

Walther and his wife Sophie had homesteaded 600 acres in about 1875. The Walthers’ lived in two covered wagons during their first few years in the valley before building a small log cabin.

Somehow, the two managed to raise 12 children in the cabin (eight girls and four boys). In 1895, Sophie was killed in a carriage accident.

Shortly after her death, Valentine Walther and a friend, Nick Scott, began construction of the two-story log house. Apparently, it took three years to cut and haul the dense pine logs from the Ruby Mountains, another three years to trim and shape them and a year to assemble the logs into a house.

Finished in 1903, the ranch house also served as a post office (called Sherman) as well as a stagecoach stop (on the line heading south to the mining town of Hamilton) and community center.

At the time of its construction, it was considered the largest log house in the state.

For many years, Walther operated what was considered one of the best orchards in the state, raising cherries, plums, apricots and apples. Several of his original trees still stand on the former site of the station.

The Walthers owned the ranch and log buildings until about the 1920s — family members still live in the Elko area. Several later owners lived in the big house until the 1970s, when it ceased to be used.

In 1995, Peter and Kathy Scheidemann donated the historic structures to the Elko Chamber, which was able to obtain grants to pay for moving them to Elko. The restored buildings opened in 1999.

The Sherman Station Visitors Center is located on the corner of 14th and Idaho streets in Elko. It is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, although many of the other buildings may be closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

For information, go to www.exploreelko.com/attractions/sherman_station.php.

Rich Moreno writes about the places and people that make Nevada special.

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