Anson Phelps Stokes, from a wealthy eastern family, invested in a mining claim in Austin. In 1896 he began building a summer home for his family, a tower overlooking the Reese River Valley. The building, made of native stone, was built to resemble a castle in Italy. The three floors were richly furnished, each with a fireplace, the bedrooms with balconies and indoor plumbing. But the family used its Nevada castle only for a month or so, in 1897 and 1898. After that, Stokes sold his mine, and never returned to Austin. His castle fell into ruin.

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