National Register of Historic Places in Lander County

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National Register #03000752
Gridley Store
247 Water Street
Built 1863

The Gridley Store, located in Austin, Nevada, is associated with one of Nevada's most celebrated Civil War-era episodes. The simple granite store was built in 1863 for merchant Reuel C. Gridley and a partner. In April 1864 Gridley lost an election bet and was required to march from his store through Austin carrying a fifty-pound sack of flour. The flour was then sold and resold to raise funds for the U.S. Sanitary Commission, which provided care to wounded Union servicemen.

Gridley took the Austin Sanitary Flour sack on tour, ultimately raising in excess of a hundred thousand dollars for the cause in Nevada, California, and the East. The affair was heavily publicized at the time and was celebrated by Mark Twain in Roughing It (Twain and Gridley were schoolmates in Hannibal, Missouri). Today, the rehabilitated store is used as a museum by the Austin Historical Society.

Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination form.

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