Victorian Tea set for the Fourth Ward Saturday

VIRGINIA CITY -- It's a step back in time.

Victorian history will meet Victorian charm as the Fourth Ward School Museum presents a special tea in the E.L. Weigand Room at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Guests will be ushered into the gentlemen's drawing room and the ladies' parlor, where 12 actors for the Living History Company of Nevada, in full costume, will discuss the news, politics and gossip of the day -- July 27, 1889.

That period marked the beginning of a depression on the Comstock, according to Barbara Mackay, executive director of the Fourth Ward School.

"People were worried about the economy," she said. "But they kept up appearances at afternoon teas."

The event includes a host of refreshments from the period, including iced beverages, tea sandwiches and sweets.

This is the second living history performance at the school this year and Mackay said she hopes to continue them.

"I want to start a series of programs that will recreate all aspects of these people's lives," she said.

The Fourth Ward School was built in 1876 to honor the nation's centennial, but hard economic times plagued the Comstock for years. The school closed in 1936 and sat vacant for 60 years.

Listed on the National Register of Historic places, the old school has been recognized as the number one preservation project by the Nevada Commission for Cultural Affairs. It also received a grant award from the new millennium initiative, "Save America's Treasures."

Restoration of the school is administered by the Fourth Ward School Board of Trustees under the auspices of the Storey County Board of Commissioners, who holds the title to the property.

Saturday's event starts at 1 p.m. and costs $10 per person, the proceeds to fund similar programs. For more information or to make reservations, call the Fourth Ward School Museum, 847-0975.

What: Victorian Afternoon Tea

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Fourth Ward School Museum, Virginia City


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