Ronald James

Placer Mining

With the California Gold Rush, fortune seekers flooded into the West. Thousands scattered into every Sierra ravine looking for widely distributed gold flakes and nuggets in placer sands deposited by creeks and rivers.

Placer miners moved from one place to the next. They used inexpensive, movable wooden boxes called rockers and long toms to wash sand away from gold. The gold pan, a cliché of placer mining, had a limited capacity and was only for sampling sites during prospecting.

Philipp Deidesheimer

Philipp Deidesheimer, the Comstock inventor of the square-set timber system, made deep hardrock mining a possibility throughout the world, thereby becoming a respected mining engineer. Deidesheimer was born to Jewish parents in Darmstadt, Hesse in 1832 before German unification. He attended the prestigious Freiburg School of Mines. At nineteen, the young mining engineer traveled to the California gold fields to work for several years. Eventually, he addressed one of the Comstock's most critical needs.

Pershing County Courthouse

Pershing County was carved out of Humboldt County's southern region after arguments over public funds necessitated a division of the territory. The state legislature created Nevada's seventeenth county in 1919 and designated Lovelock as the county seat. The county was named after General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing.

Ormsby County Courthouse

Carson City has served simultaneously as the county seat of Ormsby County, and the state capital. The county was established in 1861, and named after Major William M. Ormsby, who is known for his prominent role in the Pyramid Lake War. In 1862, commissioners purchased the Great Basin Hotel from Abraham Curry for $42,500 to use as the county courthouse. Despite criticism from locals about its lack of monumental appearance, the courthouse remained in use for almost sixty years.

Open Pit, or Open Cast Mining

Mining is a practical industry that seeks efficient ways to extracts mineral wealth from the ground. During the nineteenth century, precious metals deeper than about three hundred feet called for underground drift or hardrock mining.

Nye County Courthouse

Organized in 1864, Nye County was named in honor of Nevada Territory's governor, and first senator, James Warren Nye. Originally the seat of government was situated in Ione, but the state legislature moved it to Belmont in 1867. The county did not approve plans for a permanent courthouse until 1875, when commissioners accepted the design of J. K. Winchell.

Nineteenth-Century Immigration and Ethnicity in Nevada: An Overview

Throughout the nineteenth century, immigration dominated Nevada, affecting its development and society. Nevada had more foreign-born per capita than any other state in 1870 and the percentage of Nevada's immigrants rivaled that of other states for much of its early existence. In spite of the importance of foreigners to Nevada, it is difficult to generalize about how immigration and ethnicity affected people's lives. Every group was different, and each person unique.

Nevada State Capitol Building

Construction on the Nevada State Capitol in Carson City began on April 21, 1870. Joseph Gosling, formerly a carpenter working in Virginia City, submitted the plans from his new home in San Francisco. Irish-born Peter Cavanaugh served as general contractor, supervising the work of prisoners who quarried the sandstone and Scottish masons who worked on site. The building cost was nearly double the original bid of $84,000. Furnishings added $20,000.

Neoclassical Style Architecture in Nevada

A revival of interest in classical models of architecture dates from the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. The neoclassical style came into vogue during the last decade of the nineteenth century and retained its popularity through the first half of the twentieth century.

Native Americans on the Comstock

The development of the Comstock took a toll on the Northern Paiute Native American population of the region, but they adapted and even prospered in ways which seemed unlikely. Prior to contact with Euro-Americans, the Native American population of the Great Basin was well adapted to the fragile, arid environment, living in seasonally mobile bands and coming together for collective hunts or harvests. When trappers, travelers, and settlers began moving into the Great Basin in the 1840s, Native Americans had to adapt to the changing culture and environment.


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