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Battle Mountain

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Battle Mountain is located at the north end of Lander County in the Reese River Valley. The small settlement, established in the 1860s, served as a supply center for the Battle Mountain Mining District, then one of the most active in the state. It also became a railroad town upon the arrival of the Central Pacific in Battle Mountain in 1869. Later, in 1880, the Nevada Central Railroad connected Austin to the south to the transcontinental railroad in Battle Mountain, making the town a hub for the county.

The most recent mining boom in the area began in the 1960s when the Duval Company's Copper Canyon operation reopened. Several mines are now yielding gold, silver, copper, barite, turquoise, iron, and mercury. In 1979 Battle Mountain's boom and subsequent growth allowed it to wrest the designation of county seat from Austin, 100 miles to the south.

Unlike other railroad towns in northern Nevada, Battle Mountain has a commercial center that still faces the old Central Pacific railroad tracks along Front Street (U.S. 40). Few railroad structures remain; the old depot, for instance, was demolished in the 1980s. Smaller buildings associated with the railroad survive, including sheds and station masters' houses. Residential streets of mostly modest bungalows stretch away from the tracks to the southwest. I-80, however, has shifted the latest development away from the old town center to Battle Mountain's two highway exits, leaving the future of the old commercial district in doubt.

Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta

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