Getting to Virginia City turned out to be fun as our sat nav suddenly decided to up and die. We always have paper maps, but sat navs usually make driving through cities so much easier, driving through Carson City, I was really glad we had maps on our phone!
Our drive took us up the 15% grade road through Gold Hill. Prospectors first came to Gold Hill in 1852 but it wasn’t settled until 1858. In 1859 silver was discovered and it became a major community although never as big as Virginia City. There was continuous competition between the two towns until mining declined in Gold Hill in the late 1880’s.
The Gold Hill Hotel and Saloon was once the oldest continually operated saloon in the area, until a couple of years ago you could get lunch there, but we were told it’s now closed.
Once in Virginia City, just past the Visitor Centre we turned into D Street and found somewhere to park. It quite amused me when I read a plaque on the wall and discovered we’d parked in the old red light district!
The Visitor Centre was once the Crystal Bar, it has a tin ceiling and the original bar. It’s worth knowing that buying your attraction tickets at the Visitor Centre usually gets you a discount.
Once the most important city between Denver and San Francisco, Virginia City was the home of the famous ‘Comstock Lode’. At least $300 million of mineral deposits were pulled from the ground in a city where some men arrived as dirt poor prospectors and almost overnight became multi millionaires.
The old, very uneven, boardwalks in Virginia City.
At one time Virginia City boasted an opera house, a school, churches and countless saloons, the wealth of the city also helped save the Union during the Civil War.
We took a trip on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad to Gold Hill and back.
One of the mines we saw from the train, I forget it’s name.
The famous Bucket of Blood Saloon, Apparently the name came about because when water used to clean the floors was thrown out there was so much blood in it that it looked as though they were throwing out ‘buckets of blood’. Is it true? I have absolutely no idea.
More views of Virginia City.
Wild mustangs roam freely through the city and as we drove out we were really lucky to see some.
We had a great time in Virginia City it has lots of history and many interesting buildings. It’s well worth a visit, but while we enjoyed our trip we’re not big on casinos so we probably wouldn’t go back.
Have fun, we are!