Nevada is famous for its ghost towns. There’s Rhyolite, where crumbling, abandoned structures mingle with contemporary outsider art. And there’s Hamilton, known for its picturesque, receding stone structures (notably, a stately, freestanding arch that’s survived even though the bank it once supported hasn’t). These deserted settlements are relics of the state’s 19th-century mining boom and bust.
Virginia City may be the most unusual of all of Nevada’s ghost towns. But to call Virginia City a “ghost town” is a mischaracterization. Though its permanent population has dwindled from around 25,000 in the 1870s to 900 today, the town receives about 2 million visitors per year, eager for a glimpse into the past. Preservation efforts have kept some of Virginia City’s most-storied structures alive, many open to the public.
The site of the largest silver strike the world has ever seen, Virginia City has found a new resource to mine: its rich history. Watch the video above to tour some of the town’s most intriguing sites.