The Castle - Virginia City
"The Castle" Empire Mine Residence. When Robert N. Graves, the superintendent of the Empire Mine, decided to build a home in Virginia City in the early 1860s, he wanted it to reflect his love of French chateaus. He chose as his model an estate located in in Normandy and started construction in 1863. It took five years to complete "The Castle," but even as the foundation was being laid, the massive project became a local tourist attraction, symbolic of the wealth that all of the prospectors and miners of the Comstock Lode sought. The extravagant exterior of the Castle was matched by its elegant furnishings, from French lace curtains to silver doorknobs. In more recent years, it was furnished with period furniture and opened to the public for a while as a local museum, with numerous mining papers on display, such as records of gold and silver finds, production reports, and some of the area's 20,000 documented ore claims. Although entrance to the Castle is no longer allowed, visitors still come by to view its grand façade, and it remains an excellent example of the fine architecture that was possible in the Old West. The Castle is located on the corner of Taylor Street where it intersects B Street in Virginia City, Nevada 89440.