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    [Nevada Mining]. Photograph of Virginia City, Nevada. 6" x 3.75". This is an early view of the famous mining town. Virginia City is one of the oldest established communities in Nevada, tracing its genesis to the Comstock Lode silver strike in 1859. At its peak Virginia City was considered the wealthiest city in the United States and had a population in excess of 30,000 people. It's estimated that $400 million in silver was mined at the Comstock twenty its twenty year boom. But, by 1898 the boom was over and the city's population decreased significantly. The photograph is undated, but the lack of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad line, which was begun in 1869 to connect Reno with Virginia City, Minden, and Carson City, places the photograph sometime prior to that date. The location is identified on the verso, in pencil: "Virginia City looking west from mint L&H." "L&H" was the Lawrence & Houseworth Publishing firm owned by former miners George S. Lawrence and Thomas Houseworth, who left the mines in 1851. By 1859, they were running an optical shop in San Francisco and began publishing stereographic images of California and the West. The photograph is mounted to a board to an overall size of 7.25" x 4.5". The board is chipped at the upper right corner and is lightly foxed, but the image is fine.

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    Besides the Comstock Lode, the city is also famous for being the literary "birthplace" of Samuel Clemens's famous pseudonym "Mark Twain". Clemens worked as a reporter at the Territorial Enterprise newspaper where he first used his famous pen name as a sign off to a humorous travel article titled "Letter From Carson".  While at Virginia City Twain was also the "victim" of a mugging staged as a practical joke by his friends. Twain mentioned the episode in his 1872 book "Roughing It" and still seemed to be a bit miffed after all those years.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2012
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 757

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