the wandering chick
...Virginia City
Virginia City Main Street

Virginia City's fame began in the late 1850s. After the discovery of gold and silver - practically overnight, it is said - it became the most important and richest settlement between Denver and San Francisco. Prospectors became instant millionaires, and the population rose to 30,000 residents. Along with the residents came six schools, four newspapers, four banks, 11 cemeteries, seven churches. 100 saloons and 20 hotels. There were numerous grocery markets and clothing stores.

By 1898, the mining had ceased, and Virginia City's fame and fortune declined. But its name has stayed strong, and it's for a different reason that people still flock there today. "The way it was'" is not lost to the thousands of tourists who walk its boardwalks and relive the days of yesteryear.

Virginia City's C Street is one shop after another....restaurants, museums, memorabilia, you name it. Many of them have original items that have been preserved, such as the "Suicide (cards) Table" and the office where Samuel Clemens worked for the local newspaper.
Virginia City Main Street
Virginia City church
Virginia City Main Street
Virginia City Main Street
Virginia City Main Street
Virginia City church
Virginia City Main Street
Virginia City Main Street
Samuel Clemens office
Mark Twain building
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. The downstairs office where Clemens worked is now a museum, but everything in the small room is original, including Clemens' desk and work table.
Mark Twain office
Virginia City
Piper's Opera House
Virginia City Catholic Church
Virginia City Main Street
Piper's Opera House, formerly known as Macguire's Opera house, was purchased in 1867 by a German immigrant named John Piper. The building was a central meeting place for not only entertainment in the way of theatre and music, but also a town meeting hall, boxing match hall and center for political debate. The building we see today has stood fire-free since 1885, when the last of three separate fires over a 10-year period destroyed the building. After Piper's death in 1897, the building fell into disrepair. Today it is slowly being built to its original state.
St. Mary's in the Mountains is Nevada's first Catholic Church.
jail sign
antique shopping
bank vault
Though the memorabilia surrounding this vault may be for the tourists of today, the vault itself and the building it's in are original. The Bank of California opened for business in 1864, and millions of dollars in gold and silver came and went through the vault during Virginia City's heyday.
suicide table
wedding chapel

Another authentic item to be found in Virginia City is what is called the Suicide Table. Three previous owners are reported to have commited suicide because of heavy losses over this table. The table was originally a Faro Bank table brought to Virginia City in the early 1860s, The owner, supposed to be Black Jake, lost $70,000 in one evening and shot
The second owner, whose name is lost in history, ran the table ofr one night's play. He was unable to pay off his losses. One report is that he commited suicide and another that he was saved the trouble.
The table was then stored for some years because no one would deal on it. It was finally converted to a '21 table sometime in the late 90s and its black reputation seemed to have been forgotten...until one stormy night.
A miner who had been cleaned out in some other gambling house stumbled in half drunk. As the story goes, he gambled a gold ring against a five dollar gold piece and won. He played all night long, and by morning had won more than $86,000 in cash, a team of horses and an interest in a gold mine. Everything the owner of the table had in the world. That caused the third suicide.
Many famous men have gambled for high stakes, leaning on the green cloth, watching the turn of a card. Fortunes have been won and lost. Suicide Table is truly a relic
replete with memories of the old town and perhaps of the old timers are still leaning on
their elbows watching for the turn of a card.

(This legend is posted above the plexiglassed table in the Delta Saloon on Main Street. )

This is Nevada, so a couple can be married just about anywhere....even in the Silver Queen Hotel.
Also in the Silver Queen Hotel is a huge, huge picture of .... um, The Silver Queen. So named because her dress is made of more than 3,200 real silver dollars.
Gold Hill
The Silver Queen
The hills surrounding Virginia City seem still to be soaked in gold.
Highway leading out of Virginia City
Highway leading out of Virginia City

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