- Virginia City, Nevada
Virginia City — CDP — Coordinates: Coordinates: Country United States State Nevada County Storey Elevation 6,150 ft ft (1,874.52 m) Population (2010) – Total 855 Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8) – Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7) ZIP codes FIPS code GNIS feature ID
Virginia City is a census-designated place (CDP) that is the county seat of Storey County, Nevada. It is part of the Reno–Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 855 at the 2010 Census.
Virginia City is one of the oldest established communities in Nevada. Folklore indicates that the town got its name from a man named James Finney who was nicknamed "Old Virginy". Finney was credited with discovering the Comstock Lode. His real name was James Fennimore, and he had fled his home state of Virginia after killing a man.
During its peak, Virginia City had a population of over 30,000 residents and was called the richest city in America. During the 20 years following the Comstock success "about $400 million was taken out of the ground."
Mining operations were hindered due to extreme temperatures in the mines caused by natural hot springs. The miners would snowshoe to work and then descend into the high temperatures. This contributed to a low life expectancy. Adolph Sutro built the Sutro Tunnel in support of the mining operations. The tunnel drained the water to the valley below (Carson City). Conceived in 1860, it was not completed until many years later, after much of the silver had been mined. From its creation in 1859 to 1875, there were five widespread fires. The 1875 fire, dubbed the Great Fire of 1875, caused $12 million in damages.
Virginia City and Mark Twain
Historical populations Census Pop. %± 1860 2,345 — 1870 7,048 200.6% 1880 10,917 54.9% 1890 6,433 −41.1% 1900 2,695 −58.1% 1910 2,244 −16.7% 1920 1,200 −46.5% 1930 590 −50.8% 1940 500 −15.3% 1950 500 0% 1960 610 22.0% 1970 600 −1.6% 1980 600 0% 1990 920 53.3% 2000 1,500 63.0% 2010 855 −43.0% source:
Virginia City could be considered the "birthplace" of Mark Twain, as it was here in February 1863 that writer Samuel Clemens, then a reporter on the local Territorial Enterprise newspaper, first used his famous pen name. Virginia City historical documents state that Clemens was mugged on November 10, 1863, as he walked over the hill from the south while returning to Virginia City. The muggers relieved Clemens of his watch and his money. The robbery turns out to have been a practical joke played on Clemens by his friends, to give him material to write about. He did not appreciate the joke, but did retrieve his belongings - especially his gold watch (worth $300) and which had great sentimental value as well. Clemens mentioned the incident in his book Roughing It, (published Feb 1872) – and was still sore about it.
Virginia City today
The Virginia & Truckee Railroad's northern terminus is located at Virginia City. A project was started in 1977 to begin rebuilding one of the nations "crookedest railroads." The portion of line that has been rebuilt so far stretches south to Carson City, Nevada, and through Gold Hill. The project ran the first steam engine from Carson City on September 5, 2009. Meanwhile, other trains are pulled by historic locomotives between Virginia City and Gold Hill, attracting thousands of tourists each year.
The population of Virginia City is 1,000 people in the town. 4,000 live in Storey County. It has one elementary school (Hugh Gallagher Elementary School), one middle school (Virginia City Middle School) and one high school (Virginia City High School). Many locals work at the shops in town that cater to tourists, while others seek jobs in the surrounding cities.
Virginia City Hillclimb
There is an annual hillclimb that runs from Silver City to Virginia City via Highway 341 (a truck route) that is put on jointly between the Ferrari Club of America Pacific Region and the Northern California Shelby Club. Originally the event was put on by the SCCA and took the same route. Highway 342 is now the return route for cars that have completed their runs up Highway 341. The hillclimb covers 5.2 miles (8.4 km), climbing 1,260 feet (380 m) and passing through 21 corners.
Virginia City is home to several buildings and artifacts that remain from the time it was a boom town. Among them are the Bucket of Blood saloon, the old globe, the Silver Queen, and the suicide table. Occasionally a gunfight is acted out.
- John Brayshaw Kaye - poet and politician, worked in the town in the 19th century.
- Albert Abraham Michelson - who became the first American to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics (1907) grew up in this rough mining town, where his father was a merchant.
- Julia Bulette - (1832–1867), English-born prostitute and madam.
- Harold A. Henry, Los Angeles City Council president, born here
- Charles Clegg, an American author, photographer, and railroad historian.
- Lucius Beebe, an American author, gourmand, photographer, railroad historian, journalist, and syndicated columnist.
In popular culture
- Virginia City is near the site of the fictitious Ponderosa Ranch on the Western television drama Bonanza. As such, the show's characters made visits to the town regularly – or at least to the flat Hollywood backlot town.
- It was the locale of the 1940 film Virginia City, set during the Civil War, and starring Errol Flynn.
- Virginia City und die wahre Geschichte des Wilden Westens, directed by Elmar Bartlmae, is a 2007 German documentary film.
- In 2004, Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin filmed their paranormal investigations at reportedly haunted locations in Virginia City for their 2006 documentary Ghost Adventures.
"Darcy Farrow", a folk song written by Steve Gillette and Tom Campbell[disambiguation needed ], mentions Virginia City and other places and landmarks in the area (including Yerington, the Carson Valley, and the Truckee River). The most popular version was performed by John Denver.
- ^ a b United States Census Bureau. "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010". American Fact Finder. http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
- ^ a b Rinella, p. 73
- ^ Thomson, p.26
- ^ Payton, Philip, Making Moonta: The Invention of Australia's Little Cornwall
- ^ Snell and Larew, pg.2, 8, 9
- ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850-1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 159.
- ^ Thomson, p. 35
- ^ Rinella, p. 78
- ^ Powers, Ron, Mark Twain: A Life. Free Press, 2005, p. 167. ISBN
- ^ "Virginia City Historic District". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=322&ResourceType=District. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
- ^ Charles Snell and Marilynn Larew (April 21, 1978) (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Virginia City Historic District. National Park Service. http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Text/66000458.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-22 and PDF (8.81 MB)
- ^ On Arte-TV, May 26th, 2007, in German. Retrieved 18 November 2009
- Rinella, Heidi Knapp, Off The Beaten Path: Nevada, Guildford, CT: The Globe Pequot Press, 2007 ISBN 978-0-7627-4204-2
- Thomson, David, In Nevada: The Land, The People, God, and Chance, New York: Vintage Books, 2000. ISBN 0-679-77758-X
- Virginia City, Nevada and the Comstock Lode website
- Virginia City, Nevada official site
- VisitRenoTahoe.com - Virginia City pages
- Three Historic Nevada Cities: Carson City, Reno, Virginia City, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
Municipalities and communities of Storey County, NevadaCounty seat: Virginia City Unincorporated
Gold Hill | Virginia City
State of Nevada Topics Society
Regions Metro areas
- Las Vegas-Paradise
- Carson City
Counties Cities and
- Amargosa Valley
- Battle Mountain
- Boulder City
- Carson City
- Gardnerville Ranchos
- Incline Village
- Las Vegas
- North Las Vegas
- Spanish Springs
- Spring Creek
- Spring Valley
- Summerlin South
- Sun Valley
- Sunrise Manor
- Virginia City
- West Wendover
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