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Uphill battle to bring wood and water to VC

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer

As Virginia City expanded, so did the elaborate methods necessary to supply the Comstock with timber and water. Once the local sources were exhausted, residents used carriages, trains and waterways to get the wood needed to build the once-thriving boomtown.

In a free slide lecture Wednesday at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, author and publisher Stanley Paher will discuss some of Virginia City’s contributions to the area’s economy.

“Virginia City and its impact is so complex,” Paher said. “It’s so diverse because it affects business, economy, culture and, of course, politics.”

The lecture, titled “Water and Timber to the Comstock – An Uphill Climb,” will open with images of Virginia City and the Lake Tahoe area in the early 19th century. Then Paher will show slides of the effects of lumbering on the areas.

During the time, lumber for Virginia City came from two sources. The majority was cut from near Glenbrook and hauled by railroad to Spooner Summit. It was then sent down flumes in Clear Creek to lumberyards on the south end of Carson City. The Virginia & Truckee Railroad served as the last leg of the journey to get the lumber to the Comstock.

The other source was near Alpine County, Calif., where the lumber was stockpiled then sent down the Carson River during the spring thaw before its journey to Virginia City.

“I do these talks because it stimulates interest in Nevada’s history,” Paher said. “Especially the impact of Virginia City and what happened to the area after the water and timber sources were depleted.”

The lecture will last approximately 30 minutes, beginning at 7 p.m., and be followed by a question-and-answer session with Paher about the historic city or other topics of interest.

Paher is the author of “Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps,” and has published more than 100 books on the region’s history.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.

If you go

WHAT: “Water and Timber to the Comstock – An Uphill Climb” slide lecture by historian Stanley Paher

WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Nevada Sate Museum, 600 N. Carson St.

COST: Free