Austin Nevada is a gold mining town located near Battle Mountain in Lander County, Nevada. The town boasts Nevada State Historic Marker number eight. Until the spring of 1862 the area was virtually unknown to all but Pony Express Riders and Overland Mail workers. This all changed with the discovery of Silver in Pony Canyon, 1862.
While in search of some wandering horses, William Talcott, an employee of the Jacobs’ Springs stage station discovered a vein of quartz-bearing vein. Samples of this vein are sent to Virginia City, where they are assayed, and the results showed rich concentrations of silver. News of ore values at $6000 – $7000 per ton in Virginia City are reported and the Reese River District is organized in July. By January, 1863, a gold rush is in full swing with the cry of “Ho for the Reese River”. The area is flooded with miners, homemakers, and businessmen of all types and the camps of Clifton and Austin are founded.
Citizens of Austin in the spring of 1863 would find themselves living stone hunts with canvas roofs, tents or in just a few log cabins. Freight wagons feed the city with overpriced supplies including whiskey, food, clothing and routed to nearby Clifton. By the summer of 1863, mining companies were organizing and incorporating at a rate of ten companies per day. Mining claims dotted the valley on all sides of the fledging camp. One visitor reported that during this time two hundred and seventy four heavy freight teams are counted on route from Virginia City. In addition to freight, 19 passenger wagons, three pack trains, sixty nine horsemen and thirty one people on foot all make the trip to the mining camp.
Today, the town of Austin Nevada is home to a population of one hundred and sixty seven.
Nevada State Historic Marker #8
Austin sprang into being after William Talcott discovered silver at this spot on May 2, 1862. Talcott came from Jacobsville, a stage stop six miles to the west on the Reese River. He was hauling wood out of Pony Canyon, directly below, when he made the strike that set off the famous “Rush to Reese.”
A town called Clifton flourished briefly in Pony Canyon but fast growing Austin soon took over and became the Lander County seat in 1863. Before the mines began to fail in the 1880s Austin was a substantial city of several thousand people. From Austin, prospectors fanned out to open many other important mining camps in the Great Basin.CENTENNIAL MARKER No. 8 – STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE
Austin Historic Images
Austin Nevada Map
|Location||Lander County, Nevada|
|Also Known As||Jacobsville, Jacobs Station, Jacobs Springs|
|Latitude, Longitude||39.4919, -117.0703|
|Elevation||2,025 meters / 6,644 feet|
|Nevada Historical Marker||8|
|Newspaper||Reese River Reveille May 23, 1863 – 1993 (missing: June 27, July 1, 8, 11, 15, 18, Aug 12, 26, 29, Sept 9, 16, 23, 26,1863)|
Daily Morning Democrat Aug 9, 1882 – July 8, 1883
Peoples Advocate Dec 3, 1890 – Jan 31, 1893
Nevada Progressive Dec 31, 1924 – Oct 2, 1926
Austin Sun Sept 2, 1933 – June 23, 1934