Battle Mountain, Nevada

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Battle Mountain is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Lander County, Nevada, United States. The population was 2,871 at the 2000 census. Though it has no legal status as a municipality, it still functions as the county seat of Lander County.[1] Its primary economic base is gold mining and to a lesser extent, legalized gaming. The town is located on Interstate 80 between Winnemucca and Elko.



The Battle Mountain area was home to the Northern Paiute and Shoshone peoples. The area was noted by fur trappers in the 1820s and 30s. It served as a waypoint for westward bound travel on the emigrant trail along the Humboldt River by 1845. According to local legends the name stems from confrontations between native Americans and early settlers during the 1850s and 60s.[2]

When copper ore was discovered in 1866 and mining began, the Central Pacific Railroad started a station to support the mining activity and in 1870 moved the Argenta station to Battle Mountain and established a townsite to serve the Battle Mountain copper and gold mining district.[3]

In 1874, the Nevada Legislature overrode the Governor’s veto and approved a railroad from Austin to Battle Mountain. The Nevada Central Railroad from Battle Mountain to Austin, Nevada was completed in 1880. The rail line was constructed to connect the silver mines around Austin to the Central Pacific line at Battle Mountain. The rail line served the Austin area until it was abandoned in 1938.[4]

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