washoevalley.org Rotating Header Image

An Afternoon in Gold Hill

Virginia City is where we go when we need to get out of the valley but have no good ideas. The USA’s largest historic district always has something of interest. This time we went up for a hike down 7 mile canyon east of town past John Tyson’s old place. We always look for minerals and found a little jasper and some rough quartz crystals so we weren’t skunked there.
It happened to be the day of the Outhouse Races so we avoided that and on the way home stopped at the Gold Hill Hotel to visit their cool saloon and have a cold beer after our dusty hike. Suddenly the place filled with ghosts, ghouls and Comstock characters as we learned it was the dress rehearsal for the show “Frankenfollies”, a light-hearted, Comstock centric, vaudelville-style dance and song review that premieres Friday, October 7. We shared cocktails with the devil as he reviewed his lines and got into character. The actors are all brave locals and the shows are hilarious. Where else can you patronize a historic bar that also doubles as “back stage?”
Next we took a short stroll up the hill to Maynard Station, another Gold Hill watering hole. This tidy establishment is run by a congenial husband/wife team and is a great place for mature conversation. On this day we met a couple in period costume, the local newspaperman, another 5th generation couple from my hometown and Don who owns and runs a one man hardrock gold mine near Austin, Nevada. He said that for years, he would work all day in the shaft while his wife worked the hoist and ran the mill by herself. We enjoyed a beer and a hot pastie (a meat and potatoes turnover from the mining days) while we talked history and mining.
Next time you want a mini-getaway, try the “ghost town” of Gold Hill!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *