Streets Paved with Silver
from the book, "Our Fascinating Earth"

Our Fascinating Earth

Streets Paved with Silver

During the early days of mineral explorations in the United States one of the greatest silver—producing districts was Virginia City, Nevada. It did not begin that way, however, for prior to 1865 Virginia City was a gold—mining district. The abundant blue—green rock was ignored as a potential ore and was used extensively to pave the city streets

Visiting Mexican prospectors, who had worked the silver mines in Mexico, immediately recognized the rock as silver ore. Quickly assays showed the blue—green rock to be extraordinarily rich in silver. The streets of Virginia City were completely torn up by the local citizens within thirty—six hours! Shortly after the streets were "mined," serious shaft mining began.

For the next few years the district produced so much silver that the world markets were flooded, causing several countries to go off the silver standard. Yet with all this intensive mining done in the past, probably 90 percent of the silver ore still remains in the ground under Virginia City, untouched!