Gold Hill, Nevada

Gold Hill, Nevada in the late 1870's
Gold Hill in the late 1870's

Gold Hill grew up fast as the town right down the hill from Virginia City, site of the silver strike known as the Comstock Lode. Bck in those days, these 2 towns were the most populous tonws in the Territory of Nevada. At one point, Gold Hill had some 8,000 residents as folks worked feverishly to dig silver ore out of the ground. The major mining took place between 1868 and 1888, then silver, as a valuable mineral, took it in the shorts in the Crash of 1893 when Congress changed the rules and put the Federal Treasury on the gold standard. Overnight, silver barons went broke and gold barons popped up. There was another burst of silver mining in the area between 1927 and 1942 but that peaked in 1933 when the value of the ore suddenly dropped off and the operation turned unprofitable.

Gold Hill had its own Post Office until 1943, then everything really slowed down. These days, the only mining operations are focused on rock for landscaping purposes. Bob Gray bought a chunk of the old Virginia & Truckee Railroad in 1976 and there's now a tourist/excursion/scenic railroad operating in season on tracks between Virginia City and Gold Hill. Rumor has it that there may be an extension built that goes all the way to Carson City at the Carson River.

Many of the old buildings can still be seen, including the Gold Hill Hotel (built before 1862), the train depot (which is being restored by the Gold Hill Historical Society) and the former Bank of Califonia building. Many of the old mine structures are still standing, too, sort of.

Fast Facts about Gold Hill, Nevada
Gold Hill, Storey County, Nevada
Incorporated: December 17, 1862
Elevation: 6,200'
Latitude: 39.2913°N
Longitude: 119.6577°W
Population (2005): 191 logo
Photo of Gold Hill by Carleton Watkins, courtesy of the Western Nevada Historic Photo Collection
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