Humboldt River Basin Group

This is the description of the Humboldt River Basin category.

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.

3 West End of the Hastings Cutoff

Located on I-80, ten miles west of Elko at Hunter Interchange
Original marker language:

Across the Humboldt Valley southward from this point, a deeply incised canyon is seen opening into the valley. Through that canyon along the South Fork of the Humboldt ran the disaster-laden route called the Hastings Cutoff. It joined the regular Fort Hall route running on both sides of the Humboldt here.

The canyon was first traversed in 1841 by the Bartleson-Bidwell Party, the earliest organized California emigrant group. In 1846 Lansford Hastings guided a party through this defile of the South Fork and out along the Humboldt. The ill-fated Reed Donner Party followed later the same year.

1012 proposed rewrite from Nevada State Historic Preservation office:

Across the Humboldt Valley southward from this point a deeply incised canyon opens into a valley. Through that canyon along the South Fork of the Humboldt River ran the disaster-laden route called the Hastings Cutoff. It joined the regular Fort Hall route running on both sides of the Humboldt here.

The canyon was first traversed in 1841 by the Bartleson-Bidwell Party, the earliest organized California emigrant group. In 1846, Lansford Hastings guided a party through this defile of the South Fork and out along the Humboldt. The ill-fated Reed Donner Party followed later the same year.

By 1850, the dangers of the cutoff route were recognized and it was abandoned.

 

2 Pioneer Memorial Park

Located in Winnemucca

This part of the Pioneer Cemetery includes the last resting place of Frank Baud and other of the pioneers who founded Winnemucca, earlier known as French Ford. Baud arrived in 1863 and is one of the men credited with naming the town Winnemucca after the famous Northern Paiute chieftain.

Baud came with Louis Lay from California to work on the Humboldt canal, a project headed by Dr. A. Gintz and Joseph Ginaca who devised the plan to link Golconda and Mill City by means of a 90-mile canal and provide water for the mills in the area. It was never completed. Baud later became a merchant, helped build the Winnemucca Hotel with Louis and Theophile Lay, was the first postmaster, and gave the town a schoolhouse before his death in 1868.