Churchill County, named after Mexican-American War hero brevet Brig. Gen. Sylvester Churchill, was organized in 1864 after Nevada was admitted as a state. The region has a rich Old West history. Pioneers traveled through the state on their way to California. Miners were lured to the region by the promise of gold and silver. Native Americans have lived in the Great Basin since prehistoric times, leaving their mark and culture for future generations.
Fallon was a dusty crossroads between St. Clair and Stillwater at the turn of the century. When Mike Fallon built a store on his ranch property in 1896, the sparsely settled region had a nucleus for the first time since wagon trains passed through. The same year the county renovated the old Virginia City-to-Fairview telegraph line to connect the farms and ranches in the area. As a result, residents could have the unique experience of making a phone call.
When the U.S. Reclamation Service created the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District in 1902, making irrigation water readily available, the area surged with settlers. The tiny settlement at Fallon became the county seat, and Churchill County experienced the start of a boom. Fallon was incorporated in 1908, and in 1915 it hosted the Nevada State Fair.