Welcome to Mineral County
Mineral County's population has been estimated at about 5,000 and includes residents of Hawthorne, Luning, Mina, Schurz (Walker River Paiute Indian Reservation) and Walker Lake, as well as residents living outside township limits.
Mineral County is home to beautiful Walker Lake, a desert terminal water body treasured by the residents of the County. In pre-historic times, Walker Lake was a part of the vast Lake Lahontan, which over time receded leaving the present body of water. Also located within the County's boundaries are Mount Grant; and the Wassuk, Gillis, Excelsior and White Mountain ranges located on federal public lands, including the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Mineral County offers locals and tourists many recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, boating and water skiing on Walker Lake, off-highway vehicle treks through the surrounding desert and mountains, ghost town touring, rock hounding and golfing. Annual events which bring in a large number of visitors are the Armed Forces Day celebration held on the third weekend of May and the Walker Lake Loon Festival.
Mineral County attained regional prominence in 1860 when gold was discovered in Aurora, subsequently leading to formation of the Esmeralda Mining District. The district was immediately claimed by both California and the Territory of Utah, prior to the establishment of Nevada Territory. California created the new County of Mono because it believed the discovery site was within that State. When Nevada Territory was formed, the county of Esmeralda was formed.
Both Mono and Esmeralda counties made Aurora their respective county seats. This caused considerable confusion and much hilarity as the people voted in two elections on the same day and found themselves governed by two groups of county officers. The federal surveyors tasked with locating the true boundary line, reached Aurora about 2 years later, determining that Aurora was firmly in Nevada Territory.
In 1861, Samuel Clemens, also known as the celebrated American author Mark Twain, arrived in the flourishing town of Aurora to work as a miner. His experiences were later described in his book, Roughing It. It is well worth the read!
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, Mineral County is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800)795-3272 (voice) or (202)720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.