History of Chollar Mine
The Chollar Mine was established in 1859 by a group of prospectors headed up by Billy Chollar. Within a few years the claim was sold to the Bank of California who had the wherewithall to launch a large underground operation. The Chollar eventually produced $17,000,000 in both silver and gold. The mining technology of the time was surprisingly sophisticated with underground generators, pneumatic drills and square set timbering. As riches “poured” out from underground, the world of the 1860’s and 1870’s was watching.
Explore a real gold and silver mine and experience the working conditions of a Comstock Lode miner! Our experienced guides lead guests on a 400 foot level walk down an old mine tunnel. The tunnel can get a bit tight before you eventually reach a room called a “stope”.
Along the way, your guide will point out the methods used to excavate and maintain the mine shafts. Guests will hear stories of the day-to-day conditions that the miners labored under and even the superstitions that they held! For a brief moment, guests will even get a taste of the real-life working conditions so long ago — as the guide lights a candle to show how the miners worked in the darkness!
Note: As you will be walking into a real underground mine, be aware that it can be somewhat wet and muddy. The famous sticky, blue/gray mud that clung to miners’ picks and shovels is still around. One must watch both your head and your step due to low timbers and ore car rail on the floor. This is not a tour for claustrophobics.
Visiting Virginia City
Virginia City was once a vital settlement between Denver and San Francisco. During its boom-time, Virginia City’s mining proceeds amounted to millions of dollars, equaling billions today. We love to bring the past to life and give our guests a taste of all the “behind-the-scenes” work that went into making Virginia City, NV the richest place on earth!
Silver and gold built Virginia City, and you can walk in the footsteps of the very miners themselves. Explore a real mine with our knowledgeable guides and learn about the area’s unique geology, the day to day struggles and its colorful past.