The name may refer to John Jacob Astor, an early fur trader, whose grandson, John Jacob Astor IV, died on the Titanic in April, 1912 during the time the railway was being built. However, 1885 and 1907 maps shows the name Astor for the area.
Fossils have been found in the area.
- Helen S. Carlson, "Nevada Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary", p. 179.
- Israel Cook Russell, "Geological History of Lake Lahontan: A Quaternary Lake of Northwestern Nevada," 1885.
- "Nevada And The Southeastern Portion Of California," Third Edition, The Clason Map Company, Denver, Colorado, 1907. Shows Astor Pass.
- John C. Merriam, "An Occurrence of Mammalian Remains in a Pleistocene Lake Deposit at Astor Pass Near Pyramid Lake, Nevada," Bulletin of the Department of Geology, Vol. 8 No. 21 pp. 377-384, University of California, February 25 1915.
- Granite Range (1894, Rp. 1923) (UNR) shows the Astor Pass.
- Astor Pass is at N40.1955° W119.7938°, which is S22 T27N R19E
- Plat Maps for Range 19 East (R19E) T27N 1883 shows nothing.