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Mackay Mansion, Virginia City, Nevada | by Ken Lund
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Mackay Mansion, Virginia City, Nevada

Virginia City is a census-designated place (CDP) that is the county seat of Storey County, Nevada. It is part of the Reno–Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 855 at the 2010 Census.


Virginia City is one of the oldest established communities in Nevada. Like many cities and towns in the state, Virginia City was a mining boomtown; it appeared virtually overnight as a result of the Comstock Lode silver strike of 1859.


At its peak, Virginia City had a population of over 15,000 residents and was called the richest city in America. During the 20 years following the Comstock success "about $400 million was taken out of the ground." Most of the miners who came to the city were Cornish or Irish. In 1870, Asians were 7.6% of the population. When the Comstock Lode ran out in 1898, the city's population declined sharply.


Virginia City could be considered the "birthplace" of Mark Twain, as it was here in February 1863 that writer Samuel Clemens, then a reporter on the local Territorial Enterprise newspaper, first used his famous pen name.


Many locals work at the shops in town that cater to tourists, while others seek jobs in the surrounding cities. Virginia City draws over 2 million visitors per year and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.,_Nevada

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Taken on May 20, 2006