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What they did find was grey-blue sludge, which turned out to be most lucrative silver sulfide when analyzed.

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Mining work at Comstock Lode. Philipp Deidesheimer, a graduate of the Freiberg Mining Academy, developed a support system for Comstock Lode, which made large empty spaces safe from collapse. To exploit the rich deposits of Comstock Lode, capital was needed.

The time was over for placer mining; now large capital companies emerged. And it was these capital companies which attracted the attention of the rich and powerful to the western half of the State of Utah. Utah, at this time, was ruled by Mormons. Their rigid moral law were disliked by the miners living in the Wild West towns, which were built above the big mines. As a result, they tried to achieve independence from Utah. And they had the best argument one can image: the richness of silver in their region. The American Civil War was just around the corner and Abraham Lincoln was worried how to finance this emerging threat.

Well, on October 31, , he saw to it, that Nevada became part of the union, as 36th state of the United States of America.

Dustbin of History: The Fascinating Saga of the Comstock Lode

They would surely still come. What was the most important fact, was that the elite of Nevada was taking part in financing the war.

And for this, Lincoln was able to make concessions. For Washington a mint near Comstock Lode also brought advantages. So far, un-coined gold and silver had to be transported over the Rocky Mountains to San Francisco — and valuable loads were here and there lost to outlaws or weather conditions.

Carson City Mint. But where should this new mint be built? Abraham Curry, an entrepreneur from New York, who went west to try his luck, was trying to bring his own creation into position. No New Yorker could imagine how expensive labor was in the west and just how big of an effort it was to bring in building materials.

Comstock Lode

This cost increase was associated with an endless back and forth between Abraham Curry and the government. When finally everything was ready to start minting coins, the dies were missing. Only 17, specimens struck. Gadoury Auction December 3, , lot The Bank Crowd made much of its wealth by loaning money to ascendant mining and milling operations and then foreclosing on those operations when the mines lagged and their owners defaulted.

Photo Gallery: Comstock Lode, Virginia City, Comstock District, Storey Co., Nevada, USA

As the cost of transporting ore from the mines rose, many operations were forced to close. The trains soon supplanted the mule trains long used to carry Comstock ore from the valley.

From the driving of the first spike on Sept. The day after the collapse Ralston turned up dead in San Francisco Bay, the apparent victim of a stroke while swimming. The rumor mill soon swirled with talk of suicide, while others speculated Sharon may have hastened the collapse.

History Of the Silver Rush - Nevada Mining Documentary

Those plans called for crossing the Washoe Valley, which lay more than 1, feet below Virginia City. The company hired German engineer Hermann Schussler, who devised a system of flumes, tunnels and reservoirs in the Sierras that fed a pipeline down into the valley and back up to Virginia City. The system featured an innovative inverted siphon that enabled the line pressure itself to push water uphill without the use of pumps. After completing that project, Schussler worked as chief engineer on the Sutro Tunnel. He even enticed Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B.

Hayes to visit the area, further boosting tourism.

A mint for the Comstock Lode in Carson City / Nevada

Also making the national political scene was William Morris Stewart, a onetime California and Nevada prospector who dropped mining to become an attorney. Moving to Virginia City in , he made a fortune in legal fees through his ruthless approach to mining litigation, ultimately gaining control of the Comstock Lode for his clients.


He parlayed his reputation into a successful political career, serving two terms as a U. Another dabbler in politics, albeit local, was Henry Piper, who settled in Nevada shortly after the discovery of the Comstock Lode and partnered with older brother John in a Virginia City saloon. The brothers later bought a local opera house and brought in nationally known celebrities—including the young humorist Mark Twain.