The Great Reese River Navigation Company Investment Scam

Recently, I have written a few words about Austin, Nevada.  The town is situated in Pony Canyon, over a mile high in the Toiyabe mountain range.  Today, it bestrides U.S. Route 50, known as the "Loneliest Road in America".  The town was founded on the discovery of silver in 1862, but the remoteness of the town and the nearby mines made transportation a huge problem. 

The local lore is that a group of promoters decided to solve the problem by shipping goods on the nearby Reese River.  Accordingly, they incorporated the Reese River Navigation Company.  Presumably, shares in the company were sold to investors who had never been to Nevada, much less the Reese River.  Otherwise, it would have been a hard stock to sell because the Reese River is nothing more than a grandiloquently named stream, and not a particularly large one at that.  Needless to say, the company was a just another investment scam - or perhaps the story is a myth.   Nonetheless, the story of the Reese River Navigation Company has been repeated so often by so many that its reality may be euhemeristic.


The Loneliest Road to Austin, Nevada

Tags: Nevada