Austin is a small, unincorporated community located in Lander County, Nevada, in the United States. As of 2004, its population is approximately 340. 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.
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 1997). 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.