VIRGINIA CITY, the largest and most famous of Nevada's early mining towns, came into existence in 1859. By 1861, when Congress organized Nevada Territory, it was a town of importance with a population of more than 3,000. It was incorporated as a city in 1864, and by the 1870s, its population had grown to about 30,000. The city declined in the 1880s when the ores of the great Comstock mining region failed. Disincorporated, Virginia City was eventually abandoned and became a ghost town. A number of buildings were preserved or restored, however, which makes Virginia City a popular tourist attraction.
James, Ronald M., and C. Elizabeth Raymond, eds. Comstock Women: The Making of a Mining Community. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1998.
James, Ronald M. The Roar and the Silence: A History of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1998.
Rupert N.Richardson/a. e.
Virginia City ★★★ 1940
Action-packed western drama set during the Civil War. Flynn is a Union soldier who escapes from a Confederate prison run by Scott, after learning of a gold shipment being sent by Southern sympathizers to aid the Confederacy. He ends up in Virginia City (where the gold-laden wagon train is to leave from) and falls for a dance-hall girl (Hopkins) who turns out to be a Southern spy working for Scott but who falls for Flynn anyway. Bogart is miscast as a half-breed outlaw who aids Scott but wants the gold for himself. Considered a follow-up to “Dodge City.” 121m/C VHS . Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Randolph Scott, Humphrey Bogart, Frank McHugh, Alan Hale, Guinn “Big Boy” Williams, Douglass Dumbrille, Charles Halton; D: Michael Curtiz; M: Max Steiner.
Virginia City, uninc. village (1990 pop. 920), seat of Storey co., W Nev.; settled 1859. Now largely a tourist center, it was the site of the Comstock Lode and a major hub for the mining of silver and gold. It had some 11,000 inhabitants in 1880.
See R. M. James, Virginia City: Secrets of a Western Past (2012).