Battle Mountain’s name derives from the mountain range to the southwest, where in 1850 California emigrants ambushed a band of Shoshones

As a town, it did not spring into existence until January 1870.  In October 1868, the railroad established the Reese River siding here, and made Argenta, five miles eastward, its principle station and point of departure for the busy mining camps to the south.

Early in 1870, Argenta was moved bodily to this location, and the Reese River siding was renamed Battle Mountain Switch.  Stage and freight roads north and south teemed with “mud wagon” stages and massive freight wagons.

From 1880 to 1938, Battle Mountain was the operating headquarters for the Nevada Central Railroad, as well as the Battle Mountain and Lewis Railroad (1881-1890).  The town’s first copper boom developed in 1897, in the Galena (Battle Mountain) range.