The first newspaper, or what might be called a newspaper in what later became the state of Nevada, was a small, handwritten one-sheet called the Gold Cañon Switch, around Virginia City in 1854. Later, the Scorpion was published in Genoa, and then just before the big Comstock Lode discovery, the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City. That’s the one Mark Twain was once a reporter for.
Some 125 years later, over 800 newspapers had been published in Nevada, but by 1979 only 70 remained, and today, in the 21st Century it is less than half of even that.
Eureka County though can be proud that the Eureka Sentinel still continues.
In their book on the newspapers of Nevada, authors Richard Lingenfelter and Karen Rix Gash, note that over the history of the town of Eureka, there have been up to eight newspapers published. Most were very short lived, one in particular, The Cupel, lasted only four months, March 23, 1874 – July 24, 1874.
But the Sentinel survives to this day.
Following the death of his partner at the Shermantown Reporter in the Hamilton area in 1870, G.A. Brier moved his press and equipment to the new camp town of Eureka. Together with Dr. L.C. McKenney, a former journalist, they began publishing the Eureka Sentinel July 16, 1870. It became a daily in 1871. A weekly paper was added to the daily August 20, 1879, and the two editions ran concurrently until the daily was suspended in 1887.
Archibald Skillman ran the paper from 1893-1900.
For a time in the 20th Century the paper was owned by a company that had both the paper in Tonopah and the Sentinel, printing both papers in Tonopah.
In 1975, William G. Roberts purchased the paper and served as both editor and publisher.
In later years, after being owned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal as part of their ownership of the Ely Times, the Battle Born Media group bought the Ely Times in 2011 and the Sentinel came with it.
The original newspaper building, now a museum, housed the paper from 1879 to 1960.
As mentioned, Eureka has had seven other papers in its day. The short-lived Cupel, the Eureka Daily Republican, (1877-1878), the Silver Plume (1877-1882), the Eureka Daily Leader (1878-1885), Republican Press (1884-1885), the Eureka Tri-Weekly Standard (1885-1886), and the Eureka Miner (1971-1973).
What those other papers were like is a story for another time.