382 contributing buildings.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places October 15, 1966.
Also known as:
Virginia City Historic District is a National Historic Landmark District encompassing the former mining villages of Virginia City and Gold Hill, both in Storey County, as well as Dayton and Silver City, both to the south in adjacent Lyon County, Nevada, United States. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961, the district is one of only six in the state of Nevada.
Virginia City was the prototype for future frontier mining boom towns, with its industrialization and urbanization. It owed its success to the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode. The town is laid out in a grid pattern 1,500 feet below the top of Mount Davidson. Most of the buildings are two to three story brick buildings, with the first floors used for saloons and shops. Virginia City was the first silver rush town, and the first to intensely apply large-scale industrial mining methods.
After a year in existence, the boomtown had 42 saloons, 42 stores, 6 restaurants, 3 hotels, and 868 dwellings to house a town residency of 2,345. At its height in 1863, the town had 15,000 residents. From its creation in 1859 to 1875, there were five widespread fires. The 1875 fire, dubbed the Great Fire of 1875, caused $12,000,000 in damages.
Virginia City continues to attract over 2 million visitors per year. In 2004, the historic buildings were considered to be in a "threatened" state. An inactive mining pit may subside, causing some of the buildings to slide into the pit. The cemeteries have been, and continue to be, vandalized, while erosion threatens more damage. Continued use of the district for tourism is harming historical buildings that are still in use, while neglect of privately held unused buildings increases the damage to the historic nature of the entire district.(read more...)
National Park Service documentation: https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/66000458