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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] The Piper-Beebe House
Photo by Rebecca Ossa, Courtesy of Nevada State Historic Preservation Office
The Piper-Beebe House is a large two-story Italianate residence constructed in 1876 by pioneer Virginia City architect-builder, A. F. Mackay. Mackay designed and built several buildings in Virginia City, but the Piper-Beebe House is the only one that remains. Built after the Great Fire of 1875, this house is representative of the elaborate homes built for mine superintendents and wealthy businessmen. The Italianate style found strong favor following the fire, as Virginia City sought to rebuild and present itself in a grand fashion. The Italianate style, exemplified by a vertical design orientation, heavy cornice brackets and elaborate turned wooden decorative treatments, was the height of fashion on the west coast during the 1870s and the Piper-Beebe house would feel quite at home on a fashionable Victorian street in San Francisco.

[photo] Side view of Piper-Beebe House, the only A. F. Mackay building left in Virginia City
Photo by Rebecca Ossa, courtesy of Nevada State Historic Preservation Office

The home was occupied by Mackay and his family until the mid-1880s. It was later owned by Edward Piper, operator of the nearby Piper's Opera House and son of its founder John Piper. After Edward Piper's death in 1907, his widow Lavinia married Dan Connors, a bare-fisted prizefighter who came to Nevada as a sportswriter in 1897 to cover the famous Fitzsimmons-Corbett fight which took place in Carson City. After his marriage to Lavinia, Connors took over the management of the opera house, and in 1911 he introduced silent films to Virginia City. In 1949, the house was purchased by Charles Clegg and Lucius Beebe, revivers of the Territorial Enterprise, the original newspaper of the Comstock. Beebe and Clegg were two of the leading figures in the artistic community that established itself in Virginia City during the Second World War. Together they operated the Enterprise as a weekly paper and published numerous books on the Comstock and railroad history.

The Piper-Beebe House is located at 2 South A St. in Virginia City. It is privately owned and not open to the public.

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 [graphic] link to Carson City Essay
[graphic] link to Reno Essay [graphic] link to Virginia City Essay

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