The town of Kimberly was established in 1903 for the purpose of mining plentiful copper in central White Pine County. It was one of four "company towns" in the area, and was built by Giroux Consolidated Company on some of the oldest copper discoveries in the district, some of which dated back to the 1870s.

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.

Joseph Goodman

Joseph Goodman was born in Masonville, New York in 1838. He traveled to California with his father in 1856 and secured employment with Rollin Daggett, typesetting for The Golden Era, a San Francisco literary weekly. Goodman met fellow-printer Denis McCarthy, and the two traveled to Virginia City in 1861, where they acquired interests in the Territorial Enterprise.

John William Mackay

John Mackay was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1831. His surname was Scottish, but he identified with his Irish heritage. In 1840, Mackay's family immigrated to New York, his father dying shortly afterwards. John Mackay left school and eventually apprenticed as a shipwright. In 1851, he traveled to California where he gained experience mining for gold.

John Livermore

John Livermore is a former Newmont Mining Exploration geologist credited with locating or collaborating in the location of at least four major gold deposits, including the Carlin deposit, the origin of the modern-day Carlin trend gold province in Nevada. Livermore is also known as the man who discovered "invisible gold" in Nevada deposits.


A.V. Wilson and R. Chanrock discovered silver at Jefferson Canyon in Nye County's Toquima Range in 1865, but it was not until two large stamp mills were built in 1874 that the town of Jefferson was born. The town's best years were 1875 and 1876 when $1.5 million was produced and its population was around 800. Little else happened there after 1879 until Charles Stoneham, owner of the New York Giants, bought all the mines in 1917. Stoneham built a mill, and Jefferson enjoyed a revival until 1919.

James Graham Fair

James Fair is credited with discovering the Big Bonanza, one of the richest pockets of gold and silver on the Comstock Lode. He used his wealth to secure a seat in the U.S. Senate. Born in Northern Ireland in 1831 to Scots-Irish parents, Fair immigrated with his family to the United States when he was a boy. Following the 1849 Gold Rush, he traveled to California.

James Finney

James "Old Virginny" Finney, born in Virginia in approximately 1817, is credited with discovering the Comstock Lode. Traveling west, he became one of the first of several hundred placer miners in Gold Canyon during the 1850s. In January 1859, Finney, Alec Henderson, Jack Yount, and John Bishop climbed up the canyon, having depleted the surface deposits along the creek. They discovered a rich outcropping they named Gold Hill, which was the southern end of the great Comstock Lode. Within a few months, Old Virginny gave away his subdivided claim as gifts or for little money.


Silver discoveries at Union Canyon in the Shoshone Mountains by P. A. Havens in 1863 led to the formation of Ione. In 1864, Ione was named the first county seat for Nye County. At that time, the town had a population of 600 and more than one hundred buildings. The combination of low mine production and the emergence of Belmont forced Ione to relinquish the county seat in 1867.

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.


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