Entering Virginia City

Virginia City, Nevada


Can you name a town in the U.S. that has changed very little in over 100 years? If you are interested in the history of gold and silver mining, prostitution, immigration, Mark Twain and the West in general, Virginia City is that place. Tucked away in the folds of the Sierra Nevada mountains, this town once was a bustling boomtown of over 20,000 people. Had it not been for my favorite ridiculous television show Ghost Adventures I would have never known about this jewel of a location. The ghost hunters focused on a building called the Old Washoe Club several years ago and I was immediately interested. Beautiful, lonely, historic and creepy all at the same time, it’s my kind of place.

Entering Virgina City
Old Washoe Club

Collar mine, the largest and most famous of Virginia City was closed for the winter. We walked into the Ponderosa Saloon to ask about other tours. To our surprise there was a mine entrance at the back of the bar! On our private tour with an old gritty guide we learned about the dangerous and back breaking work of miners. In pairs, they labored by candle light, one with a pick, the other with a sledgehammer. In these conditions there was little room for error.

One of the many mines of V.C.
Mine in back of Ponderosa Saloon
Damp Mine by Candlelight
Musty Mine by Candlelight

Ponderosa Saloon
Ponderosa Saloon

After touring various historic sites, we decided to visit the popular Bucket of Blood saloon to rest a bit and catch the local cowboy band. The place was filled with people dancing, drinking and having a great time, many dressed in clothing right out of the 1880’s. If you plan on visiting leave early, go in as many places as possible and don’t forget to pay your respects at the historic Comstock Cemetery located just outside of town.

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