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Hawthorne, an unincorporated town, is the county seat of Mineral County, Nevada. The town was founded around 1880 as a stop along the Carson & Colorado Railroad. Tradition holds that mules that were used by the railway work crews were turned loose to forage during the winter, and they found the most sheltered spot in the valley to protect themselves from the cold, and Hawthorne was founded on this spot. In 1883, Hawthorne became the county seat of Esmeralda County. The town grew slowly and, in 1907, the county seat was moved to Goldfield. A few years later, in 1911, Esmeralda County was split, and Hawthorne became the seat of the newly founded Mineral County. In 1926, the Hawthorne Navy Ammunition Depot was established and, by 1944, the town had a population of 13,000. In 1977, NAD was transferred to the Army and renamed Hawthorne Army Ammunition Plant, and became a government-owned contractor-operated facility in 1980, now known as Hawthorne Army Depot.



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