Most People Don't Know About This Abandoned Gold Mine Hiding In Nevada
Virigina City is the home of the Comstock Lode, the historic silver discovery that led to the growth of several towns and the state of Nevada. Virginia City still retains the look and feel of a mining town from the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, and its residents pride themselves on Virginia City’s place in our history. One spot in town contains a surprising secret from Nevada’s mining days!
The Ponderosa Saloon started out as the "Sharon House" over 150 years ago.
You wouldn't know it from looking at the outside, but there's actually a mine shaft underneath the saloon!
The shaft is part of the Best & Belcher mine. Ironically, the mine was never profitable during its mining days, but finally became profitable as a tourist attraction!
The entrance to the mine can be found at the back of the saloon. Visitors can take a 25 minute tour guided by a member of the saloon's staff.
Don't forget your hard hat on the way in to the shaft! Mining shafts have low overhead so tall folks (over 6 feet) will likely bump their heads on the ceiling.
The tour covers more than just the area of the shaft, but also the history and life for miners back in the day. You will definitely learn about what they had to endure and how tough the mining life was.
The shaft goes about 300 feet into the side of the nearby mountain.
During the tour, you can see over 300 different pieces of actual mining equipment.
Another item you can see during the tour are rocks with minerals that actually glow in the dark. You will also get the complete "lights out" feel when the guide turns out all sources of light so you can experience just how dark it was for miners, who had to conserve their candles.
The saloon was also once the home of the Bank of California vault from 1864. You can walk inside the vault as part of the tour.
The Ponderosa Saloon is located at 106 South C Street in Virginia City. Tours are available about every hour on the hour. Tickets are $7.00 for adults and $3.00 for children.
Have you visited the Ponderosa and its mining tour? Share in the comments!
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.