In Virginia City and its Comstock Lode, miners worked one of the richest deposits of gold and silver ever found. Many places claim that title, but the precious metals retrieved between 1859 and 1880, with an equivalent value today in the billions of dollars, played an unprecedented role in industrial history. With cutting-edge technology, Comstock engineers shaped mining throughout the world for the next 50 years. Virginia Cityís wealth propelled several people to Congress and others into the nationís highest society. At the same time, those who settled in the mining district built a civilized, sophisticated place. Drawing on former glories, the popular television series Bonanza perpetuated the legend, capturing international audiences with 14 seasons of programs. As one of the nationís largest historic landmarks, the Comstock continues to welcome millions of visitors.
Author Bio: Historians Ronald and Susan James have written about the history of Nevada for 30 years. Ronald, author of The Roar and the Silence: A History of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode (1998), is Nevadaís state historic preservation officer. Susan serves as the scholar-in-residence for Virginia Cityís Fourth Ward School Museum. The museum and the Comstock Historic District Commission have provided many images of Virginia City that have never been published.
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