Archaeologists believe the area was occupied as long ago as 5,500 B.C.E. The large rock outcrop near the center of the valley, known to many as George Washington Rock, may have also been used as a lookout for these inhabitants.
Mormon pioneers settled this part of eastern Nevada in 1864. The first weeks in the Valley were difficult for the pioneers. They lived in their wagons until homes were built, and some of these homes still stand today. The Stone Cabin is a prime example of the workmanship. Though changes have been made over the last century — the metal roof would have been logs tied together, chinked and layered with sod rather than the metal you see today — the cabin gives visitors a glimpse into the life of a pioneer.
A number of ranch buildings from the late 19th century still exist in the park, including those of the Rice Ranch, Millet Ranch and others. Today the Millet Ranch is used as the park headquarters.
Agriculture continues to be an important factor in Lincoln County’s economy, and was the reason for the construction of Eagle Valley Dam in 1965. The reservoir, located at the southern end of Spring Valley, was named for Eagle Valley where the town of Ursine is located. The state park was subsequently designated in 1969.