Battle Mountain is located in northern Nevada, midway between Winnemucca and Elko. Battle Mountain is the Lander County seat and home to over three-thousand residents. We’re a small community with a rich history. Battle Mountain economy depends on mining and ranching. For recreation there’s year-round access to vast public lands where you can hike, mountain bike, camp, explore, hunt and fish without ever seeing another soul. But don’t worry, this web site has maps and photography of the area surrounding Battle Mountain to help you find your way around. Battle Mountain also has many events scheduled throughout the year, so check our calendar often – there’s always something going on. In case we missed putting an event on the calendar check out the Chamber’s website at battlemountainchamber.com.
One of the questions we hear the most from visitors is “Where did the name ‘Battle Mountain’ come from?” The story goes like this: In April of 1866 a prospector by the name of George Tannihill discovered rich copper ore and formed a new mining district named the Battle Mountain Mining District. In 1868, the Central Pacific Railroad, the western half of the first transcontinental railroad, built a siding to offload supplies for the mines of the Battle Mountain Mining District. The siding was called the Battle Mountain Switch or Siding. In 1870, the railroad decided to move their station from Argenta to this new area and a town was surveyed out. The town of Battle Mountain was born.
Mr. Tannihill told a newspaper that he chose the name Battle Mountain because he, Captain Pierson and twenty-three emigrants fought the Indians here in 1857. We do know that there were three attacks in the summer of ’57 near Battle Mountain: one on a single wagon occupied by a man named Wood, the second on a wagon occupied by the Halloway family, and finally an attack on eight men who were part of a government survey crew. The events that occurred in 1857 near Battle Mountain were well documented in diaries, California newspapers, and the daily records and journals of the government survey crew that spent the summer near Battle Mountain. Interestingly however, nowhere in all the records is there any mention of George Tannihill, Captain Pierson or twenty-three emigrants fighting the Indians at Battle Mountain.
So we’re left with three possibilities. The first is that it happened near Battle Mountain but somehow never got written down. This is unlikely in light of all the very minor details that did get reported, and why would they overlook a full-scale war at Battle Mountain? The second possibility is that it did occur near Battle Mountain, but they got the year wrong so we’ve not found it yet in the Battle Mountain records. Possible, but there was only a nine-year period between the supposed event and the use of the name Battle Mountain, not long enough it would seem for memories to go bad. The third possibility is that Mr. Tannihill was lying. He knew something happened here in 1857 and just tried to make himself sound important. This one seems the mostly likely of the three possibilities.
Battle Mountain is a land rich in history and adventure. Western Shoshone Native Americans, Basque sheepherders, cattle ranchers and of course, generations of miners, have all called this country their home. For travelers looking for new country to explore, or outdoorsmen and extreme sportsmen needing to fill their thirst for adventure, Battle Mountain is a great destination.
Battle Mountain is the gateway to the rugged beauty of “America’s Outback,” where the adventurous traveler has plenty of room to roam during the day, and can enjoy excellent Battle Mountain amenities at night. The town and its people are friendly, and great Battle Mountain amenities await the weary traveler.
Although basic, Battle Mountain amenities were available for travelers during the early days of wagon trains. Today, there is a full range of Battle Mountain amenities for a comfortable and relaxing stay when visiting this adventurous and historic area.
Please visit our VIRTUAL MAP PAGE for listings of Battle Mountain Amenities including lodging, restaurants, coffee shops and shopping information. We think you will enjoy your visit to this area of Nevada, and will appreciate our Battle Mountain amenities and small town atmosphere.