Austin Nevada a living ghost town

It was in November 2015 when we traveled through Austin Nevada, going South after we spent the summer in Montana.

Austin Nevada two days after the snow storm, on Veterans Day 2015

Austin Nevada two days after the snow storm, on Veterans Day 2015

A big snowfall started in the beginning of our trip South and followed us through the high elevations of the Oregon mountains. The layer of snow on the highway was fortunately not very significant, but the town was still white two days later.

Snow on Hwy 95 Oregon – Nevada – Mahleur National Forest

Snow on Hwy 95 Oregon - Nevada - Mahleur National Forest

It was Veterans Day and the “Loneliest Highway” – route 50 – was lonelier than normal – I guess…

I had the same impression about this small old town – everything was closed.

In the streets of Austin Nevada, a living ghost town

This place is an unincorporated community in Lander County, Nevada at an elevation of about 6000 ft in the Toiyabe Range of Mountains. It developed during a silver rush around the 1860’s because of mining opportunities, not only on silver, but also gold, turquoise and uranium. Turquoise of high quality is still mined here in small quantities.

Luckily, that day the sky was bright and blue. In addition, the beautiful sunlight was revealing lots of interesting architectural and urban details. A photographer heaven 🙂

Austin Nevada historic buildings on the Main Street

Austin Nevada historic buildings on the Main Street

At the first sight, the old small town looked to me almost like a ghost town. However, as a proud local advises, Austin Nevada is more alive than it appears to be. Indeed, from the time when this place was a stop on the famous Pony Express route, things have changed… a little.
We could see some new cars and some modern artifacts along the street. It looks like tourists are coming here to visit, and I can see the reason why. There are even 3 hotels, one B&B and two gas stations here. I also noticed a library, where (if it ever opens), they can borrow books and find out more about the history of this Wild West establishment.

Austin Nevada Library

Austin Nevada Library

Many things to see and photograph here… The classic and historic signs along the sidewalks and on the buildings, simply fascinated me.!

In this town you can shop for locally crafted jewelry made with the famous turquoise, plus for antiques and souvenirs.

Shops, bars and signs on the main street

Austin Nevada - shops, bars and signs on the main street

This time we just made a short stopover, but we’ll probably come back. I’d like to see more of the mining and historic artifacts here – part of Nevada memories, as well as the beautiful surrounding area.

Click on the photos for a better view!

** The post has been updated for the inspiring:
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #58: Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue
FOWC with Fandango — Layer

13 Comments on “Austin Nevada a living ghost town”

  1. What a beautiful spot! We’re glad you joined the challenge this week. The intense blue sky is fabulous, as well as your shots. Thanks for joining in!

  2. Hi, Travelways. We’re glad you joined us this week! What a stunning site. As you say, it’s a photographer’s dream. That blue sky in your shots certainly is stunning, as well as your shots. Thanks for joining us.

  3. Gold and silver mining has continued in the area sporadically and at generally low levels of production. This active turquoise mining, together with several shops that manufacture jewelry from local turquoise have made Austin a sort of Nevada Turquoise mecca.

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