Photographic image of a drawing of the Manhattan Mill and Concentrator, credited to Weller (Photographer) and E. Bellinger.
The drawing pre-dates the completion of the Austin City Railway, which crossed in front of the Mill beginning in about August 1880.
The Manhattan Silver Mining Company of Nevada was established in 1863 and was a branch of the Manhattan Silver Company in Manhattan, New York. It was active until about 1887.
We have been unable to identify the artist.
The city of Austin was mapped out in 1862 by David Buell, during the American Civil War, at a time when the Union was eager to find new sources of precious metals, especially gold, to support the war effort. The city was named after Buell's partner, Alvah Austin.
The valued metal was reputedly found when a Pony Express horse kicked over a rock and observers noticed the silver. In 1862, it was designated as the county seat of Lander County. By summer 1863, Austin and the surrounding Reese River Mining District had a population of more than 10,000, mostly European Americans attracted to the silver boom.
In January 1864, a petition was created to combine Clifton, Austin and Upper Austin into the "City of Austin." The Governor signed the bill in February 1864.
The Nevada Central Railroad was built to connect Austin with the transcontinental railroad at Battle Mountain in 1880. However, by that time the silver boom was almost over. The city was disincorporated in 1881. Major silver production ended by 1887, although there was a slight revival in the 1910s.
The current population of Austin is about 170.