Austin Community Profile
|Written by Lander County|
Austin is located almost in the geographic center of Nevada on U.S. Highway 50, 179 miles east of Reno. It was named after Austin, Texas. Austin was founded in 1862 when a Pony Express horse kicked over a rock west of the present town and started a rush for the rich silver ore. By the summer of 1863, Austin and the Reese River Mining District had a population of 10,000 persons. In that year, Austin was made the County seat of Lander County, which at that time included Eureka, White Pine, and Elko Counties.
In short time a lumber mill had been built along with four hundred homes. There were schools, churches, hotels, stores and, of course, the required number of saloons and pleasure houses. Many of the structures were of adobe and brick, which minimized the damage from fires.
The Nevada Central Railroad was built in 1880 and aided in mining developments and enhanced Austin's position as a commercial center. When silver production dropped, the area switched to uranium; later, Austin became the center of the turquoise mining industry.
Austin today is the center of a vast cattle and sheep ranching area and offers some of the finest fishing and deer hunting in the west. Austin's population has diminished and many of the old buildings have been removed, but the "spirit" of Austin is much the same today as it was in the 1860s. The Town currently has a population of approximately 340.
Tourism/recreation, ranching and mining are important economic activity in the Austin area. As one of the early mining towns, Austin it is comparatively unspoiled and is an excellent example of things as they were.
|Last Updated on Friday, 13 November 2009 12:35|