The Gould and Curry Mining Company Office is one of several imposing buildings
constructed in Virginia City by the capitalists who made their fortunes
on Comstock silver and gold. Built in 1860 in a simplified brick Italianate
style, it served as the office of the Gould and Curry Mining Company.
In addition to company office space, the building also provided accommodations
for the Company Mine Superintendent. The three-story house was surrounded
by a wood veranda and deck, with a colonnade of square posts. It was also
equipped with a 500-gallon, gravity-flow water tank for running water
and an early water heater installed in 1874. The house was first occupied
by a young mine superintendent named George Hearst, who began the Hearst
fortune on the Comstock starting with just $400 in borrowed funds. As
was the habit of so many miners, Hearst stayed in Virginia City for only
a short time but made several million dollars.
Gould and Curry Mining Company Office/Mackay
Photo by Terri McBride,
Courtesy of Nevada State Historic Preservation Office
The building survived the Great Fire of 1875, after which it became
the local business headquarters, and brief residence, for one of the
most powerful and wealthy characters on the Comstock, John Mackay. Mackay
was one of the Comstock's "silver kings," who along with his partners
Flood, Fair, and O'Brien discovered the Consolidated Virginia's "Big
Bonanza" in 1873. Later in his life Mackay contributed millions of dollars
to the School of Mines at the University
of Nevada, which bears his name. He was also instrumental in the
establishment of the transatlantic cable.
Gould and Curry Mining Company Office
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division,
Historic American Buildings Survey, Reproduction Number HABS, NEV,15-VIRG,23-1
The Gould and Curry Mining Company Office/Mackay Mansion is located
at 129 South D St. in Virginia City and is now a private residence not open to the public.