Silver City ball raises funds for town needs |

Silver City ball raises funds for town needs

Karl Horeis
Karl Horeis/Nevada Appeal Dawn Pohlman of Silver Springs, left, holds a ceramic turtle she won in a raffle while talking to her brother, Neil Pohlman of Grass Valley during the Silver City firemen's Ball on Saturday.

In years past bands have played on the porch of the old school at the Silver City Firemen’s Ball. This year, with the burned rubble of the 137-year-old school surrounded by cyclone fencing, five bands played on a stage set up on the grass. Hundreds gathered in tie-dye shirts, dancing, eating food and relaxing in the breeze.

The ball, held every few years, is the major fund-raiser for the all-volunteer Silver City Fire Department.

“This was originally supposed to be a fund-raiser for the brush truck (we lost in the American Flats fire last year),” said town board chairperson Rachel Toll. “But after the school burned on July 7 we had to reorganize things a bit.”

The school, described by an emcee as “the heart and soul of the community,” was used as a community center.

“We’re kind of hoping the county is going to rebuild the school for us,” said town board member and treasurer Theo McCormick. The board expects to go before the Lyon County commissioners in mid-September with a plan, he said.

Flipping large hot-dogs on a smoking grill, McCormick gave a brief history of the Silver City Firemen’s Ball.

“The first one was in like ’73. That was a fund-raiser for the fire truck. We had only one fire truck and it didn’t run.”

The annual concerts grew larger each year.

“It culminated in like, ’76 with a firemen’s ball that was just enormous. There were like 10,000 people up here. They advertised it in the Bay Area and it turned into like this little Woodstock thing. The people who organized it swore they would never do another.”

The next generation of events started in the early 1990s, he said. These days they only do them every two or three years.

“They’re a lot of work,” said Toll. “It’s a lot for us to do and still fight fire in the summertime.”

Five bands played Saturday: Trippin’ Buddhas; Jesse James; American Rose (which includes three members of the Silver City Fire Department); Stoneground (which played the Silver City Firemen’s Ball in the 1970s) and Kenny Williams and the Crazy Texas Gypsies.

Plum Mining, which does surface mining on the Comstock, provided all food for the event.

The live music started about 4 p.m. while children played in the sunshine. It was scheduled to continue until about midnight.

Contact Karl Horeis at or 881-1219.