Tahoe House Hotel, Virginia City, Nevada

Tahoe House Hotel, Virginia City, Nevada
Virginia Hotels
Image by Glenn Franco Simmons
These photos taken in Virginia City will eventually show Virginia City at its finest and at its worst (each person can be his/her own judge), as this historical landmark is being allowed, for the most part, to rust, warp and waste away.

While America can find vast sums of wealth ~ amounts that stagger one’s comprehension ~ to wage fruitless conflict after fruitless conflict to feed its corrupt military-industrial-political cabal, our vast historical heritage throughout the United States is not a national priority.

Nor will it be. Just look at the self-centered, narcissistic clown shows so readily apparent in Washington, D.C., and state capitols.

Gives pause to one having hope, doesn’t it?

Well, I’m an eternal optimist; my spirits lifted by hard-working and dedicated public servants, philanthropists, organizations and private individuals.

In Virginia City, many entities have come together to preserve such wonderful landmarks as St. Mary’s in The Mountains Church, the Opera House and the Fourth Ward School.

However, despite the best intentions, and the tireless work of many people and organizations, Virginia City’s historic heart is rotting away.

From just a visitor’s point of view, with little knowledge ~ aside from my own observations ~ of the true condition of this city’s buildings, I have seen Virginia City deteriorate since I first visited in 1990.

Hopefully, these photos, as well as photos by other photographers, will help motivate someone or something to realize that while much of Virginia City’s buildings are privately owned, they are a national treasure, and it will require tapping the national treasure to restore and rehabilitate as many of them as possible.

Now that wars have helped bankrupt this nation, however, it appears Virginia City will continue to languish in the hot summer sun and the cold winter air and snow, until the rot in wood and the instability of masonry and brick become so bad that some buildings may finally reach that point of no return.

(If some haven’t already.)

Let’s hope that does not happen.

"Guests can stroll along authentic board sidewalks, view historic churches, scores of 19th century homes, public buildings and quaint cemeteries," according to the Virginia City Convention and Tourism Authority’s Web site.

"They also can visit Old West saloons, shops, museums and restaurants for free or nominal costs, ride on a stagecoach, horse-drawn carriage, trolley or the historic steam-engine Virginia and Truckee Railroad that crosses scenic high desert and landscape dotted with old mines.

"The 19th century mining boom turned Virginia City into the most important settlement between Denver and San Francisco; and grubby prospectors into instant millionaires. They built mansions, imported furniture and fashions from Europe and the Orient, and helped finance {The Union in} The Civil War and then went on to build empires around the world. The finest example being San Francisco."

The Web site notes that Virginia City is among America’s "12 Distinctive Destinations."

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