Lovelock Centennial 1868-1968 : George Lovelock
of Contents - Centennial
Lovelock Centennial Booklet 1868-1968
Pershing Co. Nevada
George Lovelock, pioneer, the founder
of two towns which bear his name, honored and respected as the patriarch of
the town of Lovelock, Pershing County, Nevada, had during his life of eighty-three
years, a career of varied experience, passed in different climes, and of successful
effort and accomplishment.
He was born March 11, 1824, in Swansea, Wales, and was reared and educated in
England. He married Mill Mary Forest, April 5, 1847, and shortly thereafter
they took ship to Australia.
Their first son, Fredrick, was born while they were on passage. In Australia
Lovelock was employed in the copper mines for over two years, after which he
and his family embarked for the Sandwich Islands. Leaving his wife and child
on these islands in the Pacific, Lovelock set sail for San Francisco, California,
arriving April 3, 1850.
Lovelock had learned the carpenter trade, and for the first few weeks he was
engaged in building houses in Happy Valley. In May he went to Sacramento, where
in June, he was joined by his wife and son.
Soon thereafter they moved to Brown's Valley, and thence to Feather River, where
he built the second house in what is now the city of Oroville. His son Thomas
was the first white child to be born there, September 1851. In 1852 he moved
to Marysville, California, for more healthful location for his family, and thence
to Butte Creek. he built a store there and the place was named Lovelock in his
This little California town still exists. During his stay in the area he was
engaged in placer mining, teaming, and also built a sawmill at Lovelock. At
the beginning of the Civil WAr, however, the demand for lumber ceased and he
abandoned his California enterprises and struck out for Nevada.
He was located at the mouth of Rocky Canyon, then Humboldt County, until 1866,
when he moved to where the town of Lovelock has since been built.
Upon arriving in the "Big Meadow", he bought the squatters' right, 320 acres
for $2,250.00, from the Blake brothers and got with it the oldest water rights
on the Humboldt River. He established his home and operated a newly acquired
stage station on Hill Beachey's line at a point nearly opposite where the railroad
depot now stands.
So far as can be determined, in 1866 the Blakes and George Lovelock also completed
one of the earliest irrigation canals in the Lovelock Valley. They harvested
the Great Basin wild rye growing in the meadows and along the Lovelock Slough
with scythes each fall and used or sold the hay. The L.N. Carpenter priority
in the union Canal is based upon this early Blake-Lovelock water right.
When the building of the Central Pacific Railroad reached the site of present
Lovelock in early August of 1868, George Lovelock gave eighty-five acres for
a town site which the company named Lovelock. The railroad company promised
to give his a block in the town in exchange, an agreement that was not kept,
and he had to pay five hundred dollars for half a block. Also, in return for
giving the railroad the right of way, he was to receive a free pass - but he
had only one free ride.
George Lovelock was a tireless and faithful worker in the developing of the
agricultural and mineral resources in the Humboldt County section. He was one
of the first men in the county to engage in mining enterprises and at the time
of his death his holdings were quite extensive.
He was the discoverer and original owner of the American Nickel Company's nickel
and cobalt properties at Cottonwood Canyon, and has valuable holdings there
and in many other districts in the county. Mining was his life's work and study.
In the delirium of fever, the night before his death, he was going down shafts,
a candle in hand.
"Uncle George" was a short stocky man with bush whiskers. He is remembered sitting
on the porch of his adobe home surrounded by ore samples and the town's children
who gathered to hear stories of history and admire his collection.
The well-versed pioneer with his extra wide suspenders and handkerchief around
his neck was also noted for his unusual foresite of the future. His granddaughter
recalls sitting on his lap watching pigeons, when he predicted: "One day we
will be flying through the air like the birds. You will live to see this occasion,
but I will not."
His prized possessions were an unusually large pocket watch and chain that he
had brought to this country from England; his "stogie" knife with its long sharp
blade which he used to remove corks from various types of bottles; and his miner's
eye glass, a tool of his beloved trade.
He was never sick a day in his life prior to the three days before his death.
His longevity was often attributed to his daily ritual of dipping his penknife
into a blue bottle of quinine powder and consuming all the knife point would
hold. This was followed by a cup of tea which he made from the wild sage brush
of which he was so fond.
Besides his extensive mining interests, George Lovelock was also engaged in
the hotel business. In Lovelock he first owned the Big Meadow Hotel which he
later "exchanged for a consideration" for the portion of land belonging to Ed
Asher. This land beyond the Lovelock Slough is the present location of the Ruddell
Ranch. He owned a hotel in Trinity when the town was in its hey day and also
operated a large hotel at Oreana.
He never joined societies. His career was its own justification and eulogy.
In politics he always voted the Republican ticket and he remained steadfast
in the Christian faith of the Episcopal Church of his childhood. Above all,
he was staunch in his belief and practice of the Golden Rule. "No one in need,
be they of the dusky native tribes or the 'paleface' brother, was ever turned
from his door empty handed. Indured to the hardships of pioneer life, yet he
had a tender and sympathetic nature, always glad to divide his last morsel with
those in need."
Mary Lovelock, first wife of George, mother of his children and sharer in his
pioneer hardships, passed away July 5, 1881. She was 58. After a time a second
companion, Mary Evans, was taken. No children were born of the second marriage
and the wife was accidentally drowned in the old river channel which passed
back of their home three years after the union.
The eight children born to George Lovelock included, Frederick, Thomas, George
Jr., Daniel, Stephen, Nellie Lovelock Carpenter, Jennie Lovelock Ruddell, and
George Lovelock passed away March 28, 1907, at the age of 83 following an attack
Information collected and compiled
by Elaine Pommerening, Lovelock, Nevada [Histories chairman for the Centennial
Booklet Committee, and co-chairman of the Lovelock Centennial Committee.]
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