Virginia City is a survivor of the of the Silver Boom from the Comstock Load the the current county seat for Storey County, Nevada. The town developed as a boomtown where silver is discovered in 1859.
Following the discovery of Silver at Comstock, Virginia City grew to be the most important industrial city between San Francisco and Denver. The town boasts some 25,000 citizens at its height. The silver pulled from deep within in the Virginia Mountains helps the Union finance the Civil War.
Like many of the old mining camps, Virginia City is built utilizing a lot of lumber. This made the structures very vulnerable to fire., when the wind and dry climates, dry the wood and turn the structures into tinderboxes. Virginia City survived five fires, and on October 26th, 1875, the Great Fire consumed much of the town. The Historical Marker claims the fire is started by “coal oil lamp was knocked over in a nearby boarding house and burst into flames”, however papers report at the time “The fire began in a small lodging-house kept by Kate Shay, alias Crazy Kate, a woman of ill repute.”
Perhaps, Virginia City’s most famous past citizen is Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain. Twain began his career in writing by publishing news stories for the Virginia City newspaper, Territorial Enterprise.
Clemens moved to Nevada following his brother Orion. Samuel spent his first year prospecting for gold and silver. Like many miners, his success is limited. In the need to a turn of fortune and money, he accepted a job for the Territorial Enterprise and began to document the hustle and bustle of the busy frontier mining town.
In 1864, Clemens travelled into California and wrote his first published short story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County“. The success from this one classic western tail launched the career of one of the countries greatest writers.
Virginia City Today
Today, Virginia City survives on a seasonal tourism industry. The town features many old buildings with great architectures. The Bucket of Blood Saloon, the Delta Saloon with the Old Globe, the Bonanza Saloon with the Suicide Table, the Silver Queen, and the Red Dog Saloon are a few places to visit and have a beer or perhaps gamble some.
|Location||Storey County, Nevada|
|Latitude, Longitude||39.3070, -119.6553|
Virginia City Map
Virginia City is located on Highway 341 about thirty miles south east of Reno. The city is found at 6,100 feet above sea level in the Virginia Mountain range.
Virginia City Points of Interest
African Americans and the Boston SaloonWilliam A G Brown - Owner of the Boston Saloon, Virginia City, Nevada African Americans and the Boston Saloon - NSHM #266 is a Nevada…
Piper’s Opera HousePiper’s Opera House is Nevada State Historic Marker #235 and is located in Virginia City, Storey County Nevada. This building, the most significant vintage theatre…
Samuel Langhorne Clemens – “Mark Twain”Before he wrote American classic novels as Mark Twain, Samuel Langhorne Clemens was a miner and newpaper reporter in Mineral County, Nevada. Prior to picking…
Savage MansionSavage Mansion is Nevada State Historic Marker #87 and located in Historic Virginia City, Storey County, Nevada. Virginia City is a wonderful little town to…
The Comstock Lode – Nevada State Historic MonumentThe Comstock Lode – NSHM #13 is Nevada State Historic Marker #13 and located in Historic Virginia City, Storey County, Nevada. Virginia City is a wonderful…
The Great Fire of 1875 – Nevada State Historic MarkerThe Great Fire of 1875, in Virginia City is Nevada State Historic Marker Number 228 and located in Virginia City, Nevada. With the Comstock Load…