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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Virginia City in Storey County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Virginia & Gold Hill Water Company

Comstock Historical Marker No. 14

 

130 South B St., Virginia, City, NV

 
Virginia & Gold Hill Water Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 11, 2010
1. Virginia & Gold Hill Water Company Marker
Inscription. Following the discovery of silver and gold, the miners obtained their water from the small streams or from the springs located in the canyons such as Ophir Ravine, in Virginis City, and Bullion and Crown Point ravines above Gold Hill. Originally water was free for the taking but as demand increased the supply became valuable. Two companies were formed to collect and distribute water. The Virginia Water Company and the Gold Hill Water Company. The two organizations were consolidated May 12, 1862, as the Virginia and Gold Hill Water Company with an enlarged capital of $250,000. The first water mains were wooden flumes. In August 1863, riveted iron supply pipes were laid around the community. In 1871, the company reorganized with W.S. Hobart, John Mackay, James Fair, James Flood and W.S. O'Brien as directors. A plan was executed to bring water from the Hobart Creek and Marlette Reservoir area 1,500 feet above Lake tahoe on the west side of Washoe Valley. A pipe line was laid from this point down to the Washoe Valley and back up the other side to Virginia City in a reverse siphon process. This required a pipe line 7 miles long and 11.5 inches in diameter. The water pressure exceeded 200psi. The pipeline was completed July 25, 1873. The pipeline transported two million gallons a day. By 1887, two more pipelines had been laid to supply water
The Five Mile Reservoir image. Click for full size.
By C. Watkins, circa 1886
2. The Five Mile Reservoir
{From the photo inset on the marker:} The Five Mile Reservoir was the intermediate reservoir to collect the water from the pipeline before it was piped to Virginia City. Located west of and above American Flat and on the East Side of McClellan Peak, the reservoir also served as a fish hatchery.
The reservoir functioned into the 1990s when the pipeline was extended direct to the county water treatment plant on The Divide at Ophir Grade Road in Virginia City.
to the Comstock. The Virginia and Gold Hill Water Company was purchased by Storey County over 100 years later. This water systems has served the drinking and fire fighting needs since 1861. This building served as the Water Company office into the 1980s.

This marker sponsored by the Russ and Pam Brandon family, Virginia City, Nevada, 2009
 
Erected 2009. (Marker Number 14.)
 
Location. 39° 18.6′ N, 119° 39.037′ W. Marker is in Virginia City, Nevada, in Storey County. Marker is on South B Street north of Taylor Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 130 South B Street, Virginia City NV 89440, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Eagle Engine Co. No.3 (here, next to this marker); Banner Brothers Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Storey County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Bank of California (within shouting distance of this marker); William Sharon (within shouting distance of this marker); Washoe Engine Co. No.4 (within shouting distance of
National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 11, 2010
3. National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark Plaque
Mounted directly above the Virginia City and Gold Hill Water Company Marker is a plaque indicating that the Virginia City & Gold Hill Water Company and the Marlette Lake Water System have been designated by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1975 as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
this marker); The Territorial Enterprise (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); William Wright aka Dan De Quille (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia City.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
An American Water Landmark Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 11, 2010
4. An American Water Landmark Marker
Also mounted above the main marker is an American Water Landmark Marker, indicating that the Virginia City & Gold Hill Company and Marlette Lake have been designated by the American Water Works Association as significant in the history of public water supply.
Virginia & Gold Hill Water Company Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 11, 2010
5. Virginia & Gold Hill Water Company Marker - Wide View
The markers are all mounted to the left of the front door.
Virginia & Gold Hill Water Company Former Office and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 11, 2010
6. Virginia & Gold Hill Water Company Former Office and Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 20, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,181 times since then and 53 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 20, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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