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Nevada Flag - silver state legends iconNEVADA LEGENDS

Silver City and Gold Hill - Mining the Comstock Lode

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As Nevada State Road 341 winds its way northward to the Queen of the Comstock Lode Ė Virginia City, it passes through two more mining camps. Though Virginia City got all the glory, Silver City and Gold Hill played an important part in the history of the area.


Silver City


The first gold nugget in what would become known as Gold Canyon was actually discovered at Devilís Gate, just north of Silver City, by John Orr and Nicholas Kelly in June, 1850. For the next ten years, the canyon would become the scene of avid placer mining and the busy route to Virginia City, as thousands of miners made their way to the Comstock Lode.


During the brief Paiute War of May, 1860, the people of Silver City built a stone battlement atop the eastern summit of Devilís Gate and constructed a wooden cannon for protection. Later that summer, one of the first stamp mills in Nevada Territory was erected just south of Devilís Gate in Silver City.


Silver City, Nevada, 1890

Silver City, Jas. H. Crockwell, 1890.

This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!




Commercial building in Silver City, Nevada

An old commercial building in Silver City, Nevada, Kathy Weiser, July, 2009. This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!

By 1861, Silver City boasted several boarding houses, a number of saloons, four hotels and a population of about 1,200 people. As Virginia City boomed, Silver City became an important freighting center with extensive stables and corrals to serve the many people traveling between the Comstock Lode mines of Virginia City and the processing mills located near Dayton and along the Carson River.


Devilís Gate, just north of Silver City, is two large walls of rock on either side of the road to Virginia City. Formed from lava rock, the rock was blasted and widened for a toll road. At the same time; however, another type of "tollĒ was often extracted from travelers through Devilís Gate Ė robbery. In the late 1850s and early 1860s, the narrow opening was a popular hideout for highwaymen. Relieving travelers of their watches, wallets, gold and silver, Devilís Gate earned a reputation for trouble and most came armed while passing through.


Silver City thrived for several years, though its mines and mills were never as productive as Virginia City and Gold Hill. When the Virginia & Truckee Railroad was completed in 1869, it spelled the demise of Silver City. However, the small town today continues to display a number of historic structures, is dotted with old mining equipment, and has a substantial historic cemetery. On the south side of Silver City, are the remains of a mostly intact mining facility.


Silver city is located about 11 miles northeast of Carson City about 3 north of U.S. Highway 50 on Nevada State Road 341.


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Fire Department in Silver City, Nevada

The Silver City Fire Department doesn't appear to have been used in some time, Kathy Weiser, July, 2009. This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!


Mining remnants in Silver City, Nevada

Mining remnants in Silver City, Kathy Weiser, July, 2009. This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!


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From Legends' General Store

Territorial Enterprise PostcardNevada Postcards - If you want to collect a piece of Nevada, take a virtual tour through our many Nevada Postcards. Each one of these is unique and, in many cases, we have only one available, so don't wait. To see them all, click HERE!



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