Lander Group

59 Stokes Castle

at Stokes Castle, one mile west of Austin, Nevada

Anson Phelps Stokes, mine developer, railroad magnate and member of a prominent eastern family, built Stokes Castle as a summer home for his sons. After the castle (or the tower, as the Stokes family always referred to it) was completed, in June 1867, the Stokes family used it for two months. Since then, with one possible exception, the structure has remained unoccupied.

Stokes castle is made of granite. The huge stones, raised with a hand winch and held in position by rock wedging and clay mortar. The architectural model for the castle was a medieval tower Anson Stokes had seen and admired near Rome. This building originally had three floors, each with a fireplace, plate glass view windows, balconies on the second and third floors, and a battlemented terrace on the roof. It had plumbing and sumptuously furnishings.

The structure stands as an abiding monument to the men who built it and to those who helped develop Austin.

8 Austin

on U.S. Highway 50 in Austin, Nevada

Austin sprang into being after William Talcott discovered silver at this spot on May 2, 1862. Talcott came from Jacobsville, a stage stop six miles to the west on the Reese River. He was hauling wood out of Pony Canyon, directly below, when he made the strike that set off the famous “Rush to Reese.”

A town called Clifton flourished briefly in Pony Canyon but fast growing Austin soon took over and became the Lander County seat in 1863. Before the mines began to fail in the 1880s Austin was a substantial city of several thousand people. From Austin, prospectors fanned out to open many other important mining camps in the Great Basin.