Saturday, January 19, 2013

Virginia City 1952

Today we're going to visit Virginia City, Nevada! Virginia City (pop. 855) was a mining boomtown that sprang up virtually overnight during the Comstock Lode silver strike. It is said that over 400 million dollars' worth of silver came out of the ground (and that's back when $400m was real money!), but like all boomtowns, Virginia City's fortunes fell when the much of the silver had been mined.

As you can see, VC managed to retain much of its vintage ambiance - it almost looks like a street on a studio backlot. More than 2 million visitors a year come here, and they can still see famous buildings like the "Bucket of Blood Saloon", the "Silver Queen", and the "Suicide Table". I can't help noticing those unusual rain gutters running diagonally from the roofs - never seen anything quite like that before. And while we're at it, check out the cars!

As a kid I knew the name of the town from watching reruns on the long-running TV show "Bonanza". Pa and the boys were always going into the city for supplies or to have a talk with Sheriff Coffey.


Nanook said...

Hop Sing-! Don't forget Hop Sing.

D-ticket said...

It's hard to believe considering the age, but what you see in the first slide is still basically intact. Check out 19 South C Street, Virginia City, NV, and point your google street machine to the East! Even that odd leaning flagpole is still there, fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Wow...I can see the famous Suicide Table at the Delta via Google Street Machine!

GDB is like having a flux capacitor without the DeLorean. Great pics and background story! Thanks Major (and D-Ticket)!

Hoss in Denver

K. Martinez said...

Extra cool pics today! I keep meaning to visit here, but haven't yet. I love the rustic tones. Even the cars seem to have the same color palette as the buildngs.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, like the Alamo, I will NEVER forget Hop Sing!

D-ticket, I did use my Google street machine, thinking I would do a "then and now" comparison. But sometimes Google's images are so darn ugly! I didn't notice the flagpole, but that is cool that it is still there 50 years after that photo was taken.

Hoss, first of all I loved your hat. Second, please don't meet a gal in Virginia City and fall in love with her, because that will be her doom! Cartwright women always die.

K. Martinez, I just visited a neat car museum, and noticed that the colors of the older cars just "feel" old, even when they were relatively colorful. It's like magic!

Irene said...

Regarding the current pictures using Google Street view - what the heck is going on in town the day they took these photos? I see a lot of flags and choppers parked all along the street. 4th of July maybe?

bloefeld said...

We used to visit Virginia City when I was a kid. My mom still has a souvenir glass from the Bucket of Blood. Thanks for the great pics!

Anonymous said...

@bloefeld. My mom bought one of those too. I still have hers, and I bought a shot glass on my 1996 visit, which I still use for a occasional snort.

Bucket of Blood, awesome name.

I have recommended VC as a destination to visitors from Europe and Asia as a real-life example of the old West, right down to the original signs in the saloons saying "No Irish or Chinese".

Sorry, but those were still there in 1996, now just examples of course, but that's how the world was then. This is definitely NOT Disneyland or Knotts, or Calico.

Great pictures Major, one of my favorite places.