The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Virginia City (Nevada)
VIRGINIA CITY, the chief city of Nevada, county seat of Storey co., in the Washoe mountains, at the terminus of the Virginia and Truckee railroad, by which it is 52 m. S. S. E. of Reno on the Central Pacific railroad and 21 m. N. N. E. of Carson City, about 180 m. (direct) N. E. of San Francisco; pop. in 1860, 2,345; in 1870, 7,048, of whom 3,456 were foreigners, including 539 Chinese; in 1875, about 16,000, of whom about 900 were Chinese. It is built on the famous Comstock lode (see Nevada, vol. xii., p. 265) at the E. foot of Mt. Davidson, which rises 1,622 ft. above the main street and 7,827 ft. above the sea. It is regularly laid out on a precipitous site, with broad streets and avenues, but is destitute of shade trees and unattractive in appearance. The principal public buildings are the masonic hall, odd fellows' hall, county court house, miners' union hall, county hospital, and St. Mary's hospital. It is lighted with gas, and is supplied with water from the summit of the Sierra Nevada, 25 m. distant, through an iron pipe. The chief business is mining. The older mines are the Hale and Norcross, the Savage, Gould and Curry, the Ophir, the Mexican, and the Best and Belcher. The celebrated consolidated Virginia mine in 1875 yielded more than $17,000,000, and in March, 1876, produced $3,634,000. The California mine, said to be the richest in the world, joins the consolidated Virginia on the north. It is officially estimated that the ultimate yield of these two mines will be $300,000,000. There are five public schools (one high and four grammar), a Roman Catholic school, several private schools, two daily newspapers, five church edifices (Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic), and several religious societies without edifices. — The Comstock lode was discovered in 1858 by a Virginian, from which circumstance the city derives its name. Its settlement began in 1859, and it was incorporated in 1861. On Oct. 26, 1875, a fire destroyed more than half the city. Prior to March, 1876, the burnt district had been almost entirely rebuilt, and several handsome structures erected.