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[graphic] Three Historic Nevada Cities Carson City, Reno, Virginia City A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
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[photo] Parish House
Photo by Rebecca Ossa, Courtesy of Nevada State Historic Preservation Office
The Parish House is an elaborate Italianate style residence sporting numerous decorative moldings and brackets. The sturdy house reflects its association with mining through the mine timbers that were used in the foundation. The rooms are unusually large for the Victorian period, and consist of a living and dining room, kitchen, three large bedrooms and a few other small rooms. While the exterior walls are redwood, the original woodwork throughout the interior, including sliding wooden pocket doors, is white pine with faux-graining. The Italianate style was popular following the Great Fire of October 1875 that devastated much of Virginia City. This elaborate, decorative architectural style became the Comstock's physical manifestation of its economic success.

The residents of the Parish House during its history are representative of the successful business people who lived in Virginia City and whose existence depended on the monetary health of the Comstock. The house was originally built by mining engineer, Goodwin Jones, for his family in 1876. The land where the house stands was a Christmas present for Jones's wife Martha from her brother W. S. Hobart, a prominent figure on the Comstock. Goodwin Jones was an engineer for Caledonia Mines, the smallest of the official Comstock Lode mines. The home was sold by the Jones family in 1884. Several Comstock entrepreneurs were successive owners during the next 50 years including Robert Patterson, proprietor of the International Saloon; Dr. Thomas McDonald, a Virginia City physician; and successful grocer and merchant John McGrath who lived here 28 years--longer than any other owner. In the 1930s, the house was purchased by St. Mary's of the Mountains Roman Catholic Church. It served as the Parish House for St. Mary's from the late 1930s until 1970.

The Parish House is located at 109 South F St. in Virginia City. It is privately owned and not open to the public.

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