“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Austin in Lander County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Austin City Railway

"The Mule's Relief"

Austin City Railway Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Frank Gunshow Sanchez, September 27, 2020
1. Austin City Railway Marker

In 1880 the Nevada Central Railroad ended at Clifton, just below Austin. Due to exorbitant costs of moving freight to the mining district at the upper end of town, the Superintendent of the Manhattan Silver Mill would be instrumental in developing a rail line between the two points.

Construction began May 31, 1880, following a treacherous 2.8 mile route, with grades among the steepest in the country and turns equally as difficult. Covering terrain thought to be too extreme for mechanical power, eleven mules would be required to pull a single loaded car up the hill. After great deliberation, a Baldwin Steam Locomotive was purchased and upon arrival, was affectionately named, "The Mule's Relief". The first working trip was accomplished on June 22, 1881 by hauling a car load of lumber up to the mines.

On August 19, 1882, tragedy struck when the little engine lost control and failed to negotiate curves, overturning and killing the engineer beneath the wreckage. It took 16 mules to pull the engine up to the mill shops and one month to rebuild it.

Operations continued until the eventual closing of the mines in 1889,
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but the Austin City Railway was able to hang on until 1893.
Dedicated June 7, 2014 (6019)
Erected by Lucinda Jane Saunders Chapter 1881 E Clampus Vitus.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 31, 1880.
Location. 39° 29.595′ N, 117° 4.279′ W. Marker is in Austin, Nevada, in Lander County. Marker is on Main Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 81 Main Street, Austin NV 89310, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Reese River Navigation Company (here, next to this marker); The Sazerac Lying Club (a few steps from this marker); Votes for Women (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Augustine (within shouting distance of this marker); Austin Masonic and Oddfellows Hall (1867) (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); International Hotel (about 400 feet away); The Pony Express (about 400 feet away); Austin City Hall (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 28, 2020, by Frank Gunshow Sanchez of Hollister, California. This page has been viewed 193 times since then and 5 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on September 28, 2020, by Frank Gunshow Sanchez of Hollister, California. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide view photo of the marker and the surrounding area together in context. • Can you help?

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May. 31, 2023