The Gold Hill Depot

By the late 1860s, it had become apparent to Comstock mine owners that a more efficient means to transport ore from the mines to the mills along the Carson River (as far as 15 miles away) was needed. The Virginia & Truckee Railroad (V&T) was built under the direction of William Sharon, manager of the Bank of California, owner of many mines and most of the mills on the Comstock. The V&T has been called the most famous of the American shortline railroads. The Gold Hill Station on the V&T was completed in September 1869, and the first locomotive passed through American Flat Tunnel on November 3 of that year. That day the engine Lyon, covered in garlands of flowers, pulled into Gold Hill Station, where the mayor and other dignitaries were gathered to celebrate the completion of the railroad.

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The Gold Hill station was located on a sharp curve in the railroad line–one of the few flat places available in Gold Hill. As a result the passenger section of the building is trapezoidal thereby accommodating the limited amount of space available. Indeed this depot was intended as a temporary building to be replaced at a later date. The station served passengers and freight, and was also a telegraph station. Gold Hill was a regular stop on the V&T, along with Reno, Carson City and Virginia City. The station was decommissioned by July 19, 1938, when the Reno pulled the last V&T train out of Virginia City and Gold Hill. Service on the V&T line from Virginia City to Gold Hill was revived in the 1990s. More than 130 years after this “temporary” building was constructed it has been rehabilitated and once again serves a traveling public.

The depot is open to the public during special events in the summer, although visitors may park in the lot and examine the exterior of the building anytime.

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Courtesy S. Ward – I pick this one!!!!!!