Inquisitive people might wonder why Nevada is called the “Battle Born” and “Silver State” – the answer is the Comstock Lode. Nevada exchanged the ore from its rich deposits within the Comstock Lode to the North during the Civil War in exchange for advancing efforts to transform Nevada from a territory to a state.
While small parties of placer miners worked the region’s sandbars for gold in the 1850s, the strikes of 1859 gave birth to open pit and underground mining. This led to the organization of Virginia City, Gold Hill, and Silver City. More importantly, the discoveries revealed one of the richest deposits of gold and silver ever found, making the Comstock a center of wealth and prosperity. The ”Comstock Bonanza” attracted people from all over the world and inspired innovative mining methods that set the standard for the industry well into the next century. The term “Bonanza” became a word in the English Language because of the precious ore from the Comstock. Indeed, people all over the world became familiar with the history of the Comstock Lode because of the famous western TV show “Bonanza.”
Just as Comstock Mining Inc. is on the leading edge of mining today, the Comstock Lode was full of technology and advancements in the mining industry and creating riches. The Comstock Lode was critical in kick-starting the study of hydrothermal alteration, advanced the mining industry from the use of highly toxic mercury to cyanide for extraction of the minerals and the Comstock Lode also brought the first elevator to Nevada.
The Virginia City National Historic Landmark District is one of the most important National Historic Landmarks in the United States of America. At more than fourteen thousand acres, it is also one of the largest. The district includes Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City, the historic part of Dayton, and the old townsite of Sutro. The Landmark commemorates a long history of remarkable achievements in the field of mining.
All of this – industrial innovation, extraordinary wealth, a dynamic ethnic-rich population, and the subsequent fame of the mining district – inspired the designation of the National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. Unfortunately, Landmark designation does not guarantee preservation. The National Park Service has provided limited funding over the decades, and while this has contributed to saving some structures, much more needs to be done.
Ultimately, only local solutions can succeed in saving this vital resource. That is why Comstock Mining Inc. formed and supports the Comstock Foundation For History and Culture as part of its commitment to the community. If you are as passionate about preserving our nation’s historic legacy, please join us in supporting their efforts and enjoy outstanding fundraisers, presentations and events.