Saturday, November 9, 2013

Barbies Adventures: Virginia City

Barbie recently visited Virginia City, Nevada, which is one of the oldest and at one time richest cities in the West.  It is a very well preserved historical landmark.

In 1859 prospectors began mining the area in and around the town and it soon became the site of the largest silver and gold strikes in the country.  They called it the Comstock Lode.   The miners worked the seven major mines from 1859 to 1898.  They produced nearly 400 million dollars worth of silver and gold.  Using today’s dollars, the amount they mined would be worth billions.

Virginia City was the major hub between Denver and San Francisco.  At its peak there were close to 15,000 people living in the area.  By the 1930’s, just after the depression, there were only a few hundred people still living in the town.

Virginia City, Nevada
Today Virginia City contains over one hundred historic buildings, along with other memorabilia and furniture from the heyday.  Barbie enjoyed strolling down C Street on the wooden sidewalks.  It’s the major street in this Old West town, and is lined with souvenir shops, restaurants, museums, and saloons.  Three of the most popular saloons are the Bucket of Blood (est. 1876), The Red Dog Saloon (est. 1875) and The Delta Saloon (est. 1883).    


MacKay Mansion

Fourth Ward School (1876)

Silver Dollar Queen
made with 3,261 Silver Dollars
which were minted in Carson City.
Her belt has 28 twenty-dollar gold
pieces and her necklace and bracelets
are made using dimes.  She stands
15 feet tall and 8 feet wide

St Mary's in the
Mountains Church

 St Mary's in the Mountains Church (1876)  Called the "Bonanza
Church" because of the Rich Silver mines of the 1800's

Inside St. Mary's in the Mountains Church

You can take train rides on the old Virginia & Truckee Railroad that runs between Virginia City and Gold Hill during the warmer months (usually Memorial Day through October).  There are also mine tours, trolley rides, ghost tours, a Wild West show, and tours of many of the old buildings.  As you walk or drive the steep streets of the town you will also see several well preserved Victorian homes.

A Cowboy from the Wild Wild West Show

Barbie really enjoyed walking through the old Silver Terrace Cemetery, located on the edge of town.  The site is full of history and interesting grave markers.  Most plots have some sort of fencing or border around them, which was common in the Victorian period.

Silver Terrace Cemetery


Silver Terrace Cemetery
There were five fires during the Comstock years.  The largest and most famous became known as ‘The Great Fire of 1875’.  The fire was started when a coal oil lamp was knocked over in Kate Shea’s Boarding House.  Since there were high winds that day, the fire spread rapidly.  When it was all said and done, there were about two thousand buildings lost.  The city was rebuilt in the years following the fire.


If you visit, be sure to take the Comstock Highway, which is the twenty mile winding road (which reaches a summit of 6789 feet) that takes you through Virginia City.  On your way you might even see some wild horses roaming. You will have a chance to stop at some scenic pullouts for some extraordinary views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and will see numerous reminders of the areas rich mining history.

A visit to Virginia City is always a good time, and a fun way to experience a little bit of the wild wild West!


  1. Hello from Spain: these pictures are very nice. Virginia City is fabulous. Very interesting. Your Barbie Esá pretty. I would travel to Virginia ... but very far from my country. Keep in touch

  2. I suppose your Barbie had a lot of fun with this fantastic and lovely visit, she is a very luckie girl. Kisses.

  3. barbie did a lot of travels, love your pictures!


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