Susan James

George Whittell Jr.

George Whittell Jr. was born in 1881 to one of San Francisco's wealthiest families. He never worked a day in his life, instead choosing to live off the interest generated by the millions he inherited from his parents, George Sr. and Anna Whittell. His enormous assets allowed him to purchase the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe where he built the Thunderbird Lodge in the 1930s.

Kaitty Holland Exhibit

“Out of the Closet: The Kaitty Holland Clothing Collection” debuted in May 2008 at Virginia City’s Historic Fourth Ward School Museum. The changing gallery exhibit, funded in part by Nevada Humanities, tells the story of a nineteenth-century mining family by showcasing the articles of clothing they treasured and preserved for over a hundred years.

Julia Bulette

Prostitute Julia Bulette moved to Virginia City around 1863 when the lively mining boom town boasted a population approaching 10,000. Four years later, an intruder strangled her during the early morning hours of January 20, 1867.

Local officials arrested Frenchman Jean Millian when he tried to sell a few of her possessions. Found guilty and sentenced to death after a brief trial, Millian went to the gallows on April 24, 1868. It was Virginia City's first public execution.

John Piper

John Piper was a young German immigrant operating a fruit stand in San Francisco when he, his wife, and brothers joined the 1860 rush to the Comstock Lode. Piper bought property on Virginia City's B Street, a busy commercial corridor, where he established the Old Corner Bar. He became a successful saloonkeeper and ran for public office, serving as an alderman in 1865 and mayor the following year.

Historic Fourth Ward School

When it debuted in 1876, journalists called Virginia City's new Fourth Ward School the community's "Pride and Glory," the finest of its kind on the West Coast. Architect C. M. Bennett selected an architectural pattern in the popular French-inspired Second Empire style. With its distinctive Mansard roof, the elegant Victorian structure dominated the south end of C Street, the Comstock's main thoroughfare.

German and Austrian Immigrants

Generalizing about German immigrants living in nineteenth-century Nevada is difficult for several reasons. Before 1870, various German states were autonomous, and people coming from these principalities often identified with individual states more than with the concept of a German nation.

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