Austin, Nevada

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Austin, Nevada
Census-designated place
Stokes Castle
Stokes Castle
Austin is located in Nevada
Austin
Austin
Location within the state of Nevada
Coordinates: 39°29′31″N 117°4′13″W / 39.49194°N 117.07028°W / 39.49194; -117.07028Coordinates: 39°29′31″N 117°4′13″W / 39.49194°N 117.07028°W / 39.49194; -117.07028
Country United States
State Nevada
County Lander
Area
 • Total 1.1 sq mi (2.9 km2)
 • Land 1.1 sq mi (2.9 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 6,605 ft (2,013 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 192
 • Density 170/sq mi (66/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 89310
FIPS code 32-03700
Reference No. 8
Austin in 1868. Photo by Timothy H. O'Sullivan.
Austin in 2004, looking east on U.S. Route 50

Austin is a small, unincorporated community and census-designated place in Lander County, Nevada, in the United States. In 2010, its population was 192.[1] It is located on the western slopes of the Toiyabe Range at an elevation of 6,605 feet (2,013 m). U.S. Route 50 passes through the town.

From July 12 to July 19, 2014, in Smith Creek Playa, 26 miles southeast from Austin, is going to be the 14th Landsailing World Championship.[2]

History[edit]

Named for Austin, Texas, Austin was founded in 1862, as part of a silver rush reputedly triggered by a Pony Express horse who kicked over a rock. By summer 1863, the Austin and the surrounding Reese River Mining District had a population of over 10,000, and it became the county seat of Lander County (the seat was shifted to Battle Mountain in 1979). In 1864, the town launched Reuel Colt Gridley's impromptu fundraising drive that raised over $250,000 for wounded Civil War veterans, by repeatedly auctioning a sack of flour.

The Nevada Central Railroad was built to connect Austin with the transcontinental railroad at Battle Mountain in 1880. However, by that time the boom was almost over. Major silver production ended by 1887, although there was a slight revival in the 1910s. In the mid-1950s there was a great deal of interest in uranium deposits in the area, but the ore proved to be of low quality. Gold and silver mining has continued in the area sporadically and at generally low levels of production. High quality turquoise is still mined in the area in small quantities. This active turquoise mining, together with several shops that manufacture jewelry from local turquoise have made Austin a sort of Nevada Turquoise mecca.

Today Austin is a "living ghost town", a well-preserved example of an early Nevada mining town. It contains four churches; the Catholic church and the Austin Methodist Church were both built in 1866. The Methodist Church is now used as a community center. The Catholic Church, St. Augustine's, has been purchased and is being restored as a cultural center for Central Nevada. The Episcopal church, considered by some to be the prettiest frontier church still standing, was built in 1878 and is still in regular use. These three churches are listed as Nevada Historical Marker 67.[3] The fourth church is a more recent building built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The International Hotel, first built in Virginia City in 1859 and moved to Austin in 1863 still serves meals and drinks, but does not rent out rooms (there is a motel across the street). The International Hotel is said to be the oldest in Nevada. Austin contains numerous other historical buildings, in various states of repair.

Stokes Castle, a strange three-story stone tower, is located just outside of town. It was built in 1897 by Anson Phelps Stokes, a wealthy eastern capitalist who had a financial interest in several of the local mines. It was only occupied for a month, and then fell into disrepair.

Government[edit]

Austin is the headquarters of the federally recognized Yomba Shoshone Tribe of the Yomba Reservation.[4]

Attractions[edit]

Approximately 15 miles (24 km) east of Austin is a cluster of natural hot springs maintained by visitors and local volunteers. The Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area, 24 miles (39 km) east of Austin, features a short interpretive trail where visitors can see ancient drawings carved into the rocks.[5] Free brochures are provided.

Silver deposits[edit]

The Austin silver deposits consist of numerous narrow (often only several inches in width) quartz veins hosted in monzonite rock. The main ore minerals are sulfides that contain silver, including large quantities of galena and tetrahedrite. Oxidized ore, which was very shallow, included silver chloride (chlorargyrite) which was easily reduced to metallic silver, although these oxidized deposits were exhausted quickly. The deeper sulfide (hypogene) ore was much more difficult to work and had to be roasted prior to amalgamation. Milling and concentration was used to separate the silver-containing sulfides from the barren quartz. Because of the added expense of this kind of processing along with the narrow veins, only high grade ores could be profitably worked in Austin.

The Austin veins are of an older age and were formed at a greater depth than many other silver districts in Nevada, such as the epithermal veins of Virginia City (Comstock Lode). In addition, the value of the Austin ores was largely (with several exceptions) silver (with significant base metals (lead, zinc and copper)) with very little gold, whereas most epithermal veins have highly significant gold.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Austin, Nevada (Elevation 6,605ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 65
(18)
70
(21)
78
(26)
83
(28)
93
(34)
98
(37)
105
(41)
100
(38)
97
(36)
86
(30)
75
(24)
70
(21)
105
(41)
Average high °F (°C) 40.3
(4.6)
43.2
(6.2)
48.2
(9)
56.3
(13.5)
65.6
(18.7)
76.4
(24.7)
86.5
(30.3)
84.7
(29.3)
75.2
(24)
63.4
(17.4)
49.9
(9.9)
41.7
(5.4)
61.0
(16.1)
Average low °F (°C) 19.0
(−7.2)
21.4
(−5.9)
25.0
(−3.9)
30.6
(−0.8)
37.8
(3.2)
45.7
(7.6)
54.2
(12.3)
53.0
(11.7)
45.1
(7.3)
35.9
(2.2)
26.7
(−2.9)
20.5
(−6.4)
34.6
(1.4)
Record low °F (°C) −25
(−32)
−18
(−28)
−6
(−21)
3
(−16)
10
(−12)
23
(−5)
31
(−1)
28
(−2)
18
(−8)
2
(−17)
−7
(−22)
−20
(−29)
−25
(−32)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.19
(30.2)
1.14
(29)
1.49
(37.8)
1.54
(39.1)
1.60
(40.6)
0.85
(21.6)
0.53
(13.5)
0.55
(14)
0.56
(14.2)
0.85
(21.6)
0.86
(21.8)
1.14
(29)
12.31
(312.7)
Snowfall inches (cm) 9.6
(24.4)
8.5
(21.6)
11.2
(28.4)
8.4
(21.3)
3.7
(9.4)
0.4
(1)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.4
(1)
1.8
(4.6)
4.8
(12.2)
8.8
(22.4)
57.6
(146.3)
Source: The Western Regional Climate Center[6]


Pop culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Austin CDP, Nevada". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ 2014 Landsailing World Championship - http://www.nalsa.org/Worlds2014Splash.html
  3. ^ "Nevada Historical Markers". Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Nevada Tribes." 500 Nations. (retrieved 5 May 2010)
  5. ^ "Camping on Public Lands". Bureau of Land Management. March 22, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ Andersen, Jim (2009). Lost in Austin, A Nevada Memoir. University of Nevada Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-87417-787-9. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]