The rural town of Austin is located in the geographic center of Nevada, in the heart of the Great Basin Desert. In 1862, a wrangler found silver ore there while cutting firewood for a nearby Overland Stage station. Some of it assayed in richer than ore from the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, causing a rush to Pony Canyon, where the area exploded to a population of 10,000. The town of Austin was located and quickly became the mining, milling, and commercial hub for central Nevada. Its future looked assured, but like most mining camps of the time, Austin quickly settled in for a long--although occasionally prosperous--decline. Today located on US 50, the loneliest highway in America, Austin has a population of around 300. Because of the town's isolation, many of the original buildings are still in active use, as they were 140 years ago. Although the mines are long silent, Austin continues to lives on.
Author Bio: The Austin Historical Society was formed in 1991 and operates the town's museum. Since 2000, members have placed over 10 buildings and sites on the National Register of Historic Places. They are proud to live in Austin and pleased to share these many unique photographs, which provide a snapshot history of the old West.
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