The characteristics of the Comstock Lode

It didn’t take long for the experienced miners who flooded into Western Nevada from California to ascertain the facts about the new discovery. The main deposit was a lode that ran along the eastern slope of the Washoe Mountains. It was a vein that varied in width from a hundred to a thousand feet. It ran about three to four miles in length, starting just south of Gold Hill and then north beneath Virginia City. And while it got its name from Henry Comstock, he played no other significant role in … [Read more...]

The end of the Pony Express

The dramatic rush of men into the Comstock after the discovery of silver put a strain on the already tense relations with the Piute tribes that had lived in the area for centuries. Both miners and the relay stations of the Pony Express had imposed on the available water sources, valuable pinon trees were cut down, and game was killed. Several murders, including that of the mountain man Peter Lassen, were blamed on the Indians. In the spring of 1860 the tribe gathered for the annual fish run at … [Read more...]

The Comstock Lode

It appears that after the death of the Grosh brothers no other miners, including Henry Comstock who had taken over their cabin, recognized the presence of the silver ore that the brothers had discovered. But it did seem that Comstock knew that they had made a big find that involved gold ore mixed with a bluish rock and when James Finney, John Bishop, Aleck Henderson and Jack Yount discovered gold mixed with the same blue rock on Gold Hill Comstock immediately filed a claim right next to them. … [Read more...]

Gold mining near Virginia City

In the spring of 1850 a party of Mormon emigrants headed to the gold fields of California camped on the Carson River near present day Dayton, Nevada to wait for the snows to melt in the mountain passes. To pass the time they panned the gravel bars along the river and found some gold but, expecting a larger return from the proven gold fields of California they left as soon a the snow melted. There are also reports of Mexican miners working at about the same time near Gold Hill just south of … [Read more...]