Community and Society

Hot Creek

As a result of numerous ore discoveries in nearby canyons during 1866, the small town of Hot Creek in Nye County formed quickly and had a population of over 300 by 1868. Charcoal kilns were constructed to fuel the local mills. By 1881, the boom was over after producing $1 million.

Since then, Hot Creek has been a prosperous ranching area. Many vintage buildings and kilns survive including the impressive stone Hot Creek Hotel.

Historic Street Clock of Reno

The historic street clock of Reno, Nevada, first appeared on Virginia Street in front of Ginsburg Jewelry Company in November of 1935. Businesses often placed these “street” or “post” clocks in front of their establishments to promote themselves; they were especially popular with jewelry stores. Years later Reno's clock was moved to a shopping mall and now is to be preserved downtown.

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.

Herman Bien

Herman Bien arrived on the Comstock with experience in San Francisco as a musical playwright, teacher, editor, and rabbi. He played all of these roles in Nevada, as well as that of state assemblyman.

Henry Bergstein, Father of Nevada Professional Medicine

From his arrival in Pioche in 1872, Dr. Henry Bergstein played a pivotal role in the development of Nevada's medical regulations and organization of the medical profession.

Hamilton and Treasure Hill

A mineral strike in January 1867 resulted in the "White Pine Excitement" and the founding of Treasure City (originally Tesora) perched on Treasure Hill. Silver ore assayed at as much as $15,000 per ton. The astounding figure was over three times greater than some of the best ore from the Comstock Lode, which was slumping into a depression in the late 1860s. A rush to the region depleted the population in other mining towns including Virginia City and Austin.

Goldfield Hotel

The Goldfield Hotel was built in the boomtown of Goldfield, Nevada. The hotel was constructed at the site where two previous wooden hotels had stood. Both the earlier hotels burned down in major fires in 1905 and 1906.


Although some mining existed in the Golconda area as early as 1866, its most important years came between 1898 and 1910 when it served as a copper processing center for the Adelaide mine. In 1907, a gold discovery just two miles away contributed to its status as a mining town, although the total amount produced from this discovery was small. Golconda's heyday lasted only twelve years, but it gave birth to a ranching community and supported a number of mining operations later in the twentieth century.

Gareth Hughes: Unlikely Missionary to the Paiutes

In May 1958, Reno and San Francisco newspapers announced that Gareth Hughes, Welsh-born silent screen celebrity and Shakespearean stage actor, was leaving his mission to Pyramid Lake Paiute Indians and returning to his homeland. The widespread and richly deserved praise for nearly two decades of tireless dedication to Nevada Indians was also punctuated with mysteries, theological controversies, and issues of personal identity. When he left Nevada, he carried with him a lung disease contracted in the course of his ministry.


As World War II raged in Europe in 1941, the British government found itself short of magnesium alloy. The metal—a third lighter than aluminum—was an important component in effective aircraft and weapons construction. One American company, Basic Refractories, Inc. (BRI), of Cleveland Ohio, felt it was in a position to help. BRI was already exploiting raw components of magnesium in Brucite, a small mining camp in northwestern Nye County, Nevada.


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