Panaca was southern Nevada’s first permanent settlement, founded as a Mormon colony in 1864. It was originally part of Washington County, Utah, but the congressional redrawing of boundaries in 1866 shifted Panaca into Nevada. It is the only community in Nevada to be “dry” (forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages), and the only community in Nevada besides Boulder City that prohibits gambling.
Coke ovens here once produced charcoal for the smelters in nearby Bullionville (now a ghost town), but the town’s economy is predominantly agricultural.
The name “Panaca” comes from the Southern Paiute word Pan-nuk-ker, which means “metal, money, wealth”. William Hamblin, a Mormon missionary to the Paiutes, established the Panacker Ledge (Panaca Claim) silver mine there in 1864.