Lander County

Old Lander County Courthouse
Erected 1869

Lander County was established December 19, 1862. It was named after Frederick W. Lander, who was the chief engineer of a wagon route through the area in 1857. He would later die during the Civil War in Virginia in 1862, at the rank of brigadier general.

At the time of its creation, Lander County was vastly unexplored, except for where it was crossed by the Central Overland and Humboldt Routes. It's first county seat, Jacobsville, was a station along the former. Lander County became known as the "Mother of Counties." Since its establishment, three different counties have been carved from it. Elko and White Pine were created in 1869, and Eureka was created in 1873.

Stokes Castle Built 1897

When silver was discovered in Pony Canyon, the rush to newly created Austin was on and by 1863 around 10,000 had flocked to the Reese River Mining District. That year, Austin stole the county seat. The Nevada Central Railroad was constructed in 1880 from Austin to the Southern Pacific in Battle Mountain, and roughly bisected the county. Production in Austin slowed by the end of the 1880s, but the town still survives today. The NCRR continued to serve ranches in the Reese River Valley until the 1930s. In 1979, the county seat moved to Battle Mountain.

Lander County today is a wide open region that lies right in the middle of Nevada. The two major towns are Battle Mountain, in the northern part of the county, and Austin, in the southern part of the county. The remainder of the county is largely unpopulated, save for ranchland in its valleys. The Toiyabe Range south of Austin is home to popular fishing and campgrounds at Big Creek and Kingston, and mining remnants are scattered throughout the county's open spaces.

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