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Exploring Nevada — Lovelock NV Photos
Lover’s Lock Their Love Forever in a Small Nevada Town
Over the holiday weekend we made the 180 mile roundtrip drive from Reno to Lovelock, Nevada—passing geothermal fields along the way—to see for ourselves the lover’s locks the town is known for.
One of the first things we discovered is that the town is not named for the locks.
Lovelock, which grew after the Central Pacific Railroad laid tracks in 1868, was named for George Lovelock, an early homesteader and storekeeper. Mining and agriculture contributed to its growth. Silent screen movie star and Charlie Chaplin’s leading lady, Edna Purviance, was raised in Lovelock.
The area where the town now resides was known as “The Big Meadows” to the settlers traveling Nevada’s Humboldt Trail to California. It was a place to fatten up cattle and mules and stock up on dry grass and water for the trek across the dreaded 40-mile desert which was the next leg of their long overland journey.
On the return leg of our adventure we tried to imagine what it was like to travel by wagon train through the tough terrain and to guess how many weeks it took settlers to cover the same distance we traversed in under an hour and a half on a modern freeway.
The Pershing County Courthouse, a Classical Revival building circa 1920, is the most architecturally significant building in Lovelock. But we didn't cross the desert to see the courthouse, we came to see Lovers Lock Plaza located in the shady park behind the famous courthouse.
The custom of symbolically locking one’s love on a never-ending chain apparently originated in ancient China. Dedicated on Valentine’s day in 2006, Lovers Lock Plaza claims to be the official love-locking destination for the US. Locks are available for purchase at several participating businesses and the Chamber of Commerce.
Pershing County Courthouse
Historic marker at the courthouse
Lovers Lock Plaza (visible in both pictures above, behind the courthouse)
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