Driving along the expansive landscape of Highway 50, it’s hard not to imagine what it must have been like to be riding along the Pony Express over 150 years ago through the same desert terrain. Fittingly, the legend of the next stop we visited, Austin, is that the town arose in 1862 when a Pony Express horse kicked over a rock that opened up to a cavern full of silver. The Pony Express agent riding that horse, William Talcott, made the discovery that within one year made Austin the seat of Lander County and in two years grew the population of the town to 7,500. Neek, Sar and I were curious to see this old mining town that at one point was the second largest city in Nevada.
Austin’s history is filled with unique memorable characters. There was Reuel Colt Gridley, who operated the general store built in 1863, which was restored in 1984 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Continue reading