Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Virginia City

Today we feature a picture of the boom town of Virginia City, Nevada. The town sprung up out of nowhere with the discovery of the Comstock Load, one of the richest mines in the Old West. This picture was taken in 1866, which would have been in the very early days of the town.


  1. I guess there is a lot to be said for City planners.
    This photo looks like some one had a big box of buildings and just dump them out on the ground.
    It looks like almost every building has something built on to it.
    The public school is right in the middle of town and started out as a smaller building and then had a big addition built on to it with a little connector shed between them.

    What a mess

  2. This is really the middle of nowhere! It looks like the moon just beyond the border of the town!

    DADD is correct, city planning was never considered when they were building the town. I suspect that as businesses showed up, they plopped their builing onto the next lot they could purchase or rent. I would be nice to see any other pictures from this vantage point if they are available.

    Shiplap is king for building material so I wonder how many horses were waisted hauling the brick way up here for the church.

  3. "Lode" -- but they surely hauled several loads of silver ore out of it.

  4. Looking at the setup of the town I'm thinking that atleast they were trying to make a grid pattern as the streets look parallel to eachother. In my neck of the woods cow paths from the mid 1600's eventually evolved into streets so the streets go every which way and make no sense. Cows don't walk in a grid pattern.

  5. One other thought... With all those wooden buildings maybe they should have plunked down a firestation in the middle of them.

  6. Firefighting in Virginia City has an interesting history.


    Also the town has a giant cemetery that was a combination of multiple cemeteries over the years. The Volunteer Firemen have their own cemetery that is quite interesting.

    1. Very interesting read about the fire fighting companies of Va City. They said in 1861 a fire broke out and the citizens resorted to throwing snowballs at the fire to put it out because they had no fire fighting equipment. After that they had 4 fire fighting companies. 1875 was a real bad year for VA City. Several fires including the Big one. 2/3rds of the town was burnt to the ground, 2000 buildings gone and all of the fire fighting equipment destroyed. So all those buildings we are looking at in todays picture were gone a short 9 years later.

  7. It does look rather like a confused jumble, nice looking church building, though.

    This is such a busy photo with so much going on, it reminds me of Where's Waldo.


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