Larry & Cheryl's 2013 Travels travel blog

Heading to higher ground, the hills above Reno

Looking down at Reno Valley

Virginia City

Map of town

The city was built on the underground mine




An 1864 bank

Rick and Larry clowning



Let's check this out

Head bartender

Beautiful bar still in business

Suicide Table explained

Opera House

Mural of a brick building on a brick building

International Hotels

China Town


I love this decorative trim

Jail Bird Larry

Lots of pretty trim

Old lampost adorned with the city's Veterans

Old Red Dog Saloon

Miners need their beer

Saloon now a Coffee Shop

...on the bottom of the columns

Trolley Tours of town

An authentic fellow



Lovely restored store front

Beautiful trim

Comstock Lode 1859

The richest place on earth

One half billion dollars extracted

Describing different mines

Kept the US solvent in the Civil War

Metropolis of 25,000 people

Pony Express

Pretty bar

We had lunch here

Mark Twain worked here

Newspaper building

Cheryl & Engineer Bill

Old Crystal Bar

St. Mary of the Mountain Catholic Chursh

They had a very large congregation

1860's Church

Inside St. Mary's

The altar

Vintage gramophone that we listened to original recordings

First Native American ordained priest in the US

Paintings in the basement, Virginia City Truckee Railroad, school & church

First Presbyterian Church, the other church in town.

Grammar to High School in one building. In 1875 they had 1,025...

The city's graveyard.

Looking at the town and the mine tailings in the forefront.

Today Rick took us up to Virginia City, the mining city of the Comstock Lode. As you can see from a drawing of the city, the mine is miles underground throughout the mountain side beneath the city.

The Comstock Lode is a lode of silver ore located under the eastern slope of Mount Davidson, in the Virginia Range in Nevada (then western Utah Territory). It was the first major discovery of silver ore in the United States.

After the discovery was made public in 1859, it sparked a silver rush of prospectors to the area, scrambling to stake their claims. The discovery caused considerable excitement in California and throughout the United States, the greatest since the discovery of gold in California ten years earlier. Mining camps soon thrived in the vicinity, which became bustling centers of fabulous wealth, including Virginia City and Gold Hill.

The Comstock Lode is notable not just for the immense fortunes it generated and the large role those fortunes had in the growth of Nevada and San Francisco, but also for the advances in mining technology that it spurred, such as square set timbering and the Washoe process for extracting silver from ore. The mines declined after 1874, though underground mining continued into the 1920s, with sporadic efforts thereafter. The 1875 Great Fire destroyed most of city and it was rebuilt within a year including St Mary of the Mountain Catholic Church.

All the buildings were open for business, tourists and otherwise. Some of the original names were on the buildings even though the vendors had changed. Many were beautifully restored, others had a rustic flair. I loved the ornate trimmings around doors and windows.

There once was a Chinatown, and an Opera House, as well as two churches. The largest of the churches is St. Mary of the Mountains Catholic Church, which has a museum in the basement and a docent who could spend hours telling you more history than you could assimilate. We even got to listen to original recordings on an vintage gramophone, including Battle Hymn of the Republic played by John Phillips Sousa.

Here is a link toTimeline: Virginia City and the Comstock Lode and also to a History of Virginia City.

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