Comstock Lode

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Comstock Lode,

richest known U.S. silver deposit, W Nevada, on Mt. Davidson in the Virginia Range. It is said to have been discovered in 1857 by Ethan Allen Grosh and Hosea Ballou Grosh, sons of a Pennsylvania minister and veterans of the California gold fields who died under tragic circumstances before their claims were recorded. Henry T. P. Comstock, known as Old Pancake, was a sheepherder and prospector who took possession of the brothers' cabin and tried to find their old sites. He and others searching for gold laid claim to sections of the Comstock (1859) but soon sold them for insignificant sums. The lode did not become really profitable until its bluish sand was assayed as silver. News of the discovery then spread rapidly, attracting promoters and traders as well as miners, and the lode was the scene of feverish activity. Among early arrivals was William Morris Stewart, who later became one of Nevada's first senators. Camps and trading posts in the area became important supply centers, and Virginia City, a mining camp on the mountain, was for several decades the "capital" of the lode and a center of fabulous luxury. Great fortunes were made by the "silver kings," John W. Mackay, James Graham Fair, James C. Flood, and William S. O'Brien, and by Adolph Sutro, George Hearst, and Eilley Orrum Bowers. Silver determined the economy and development of Nevada until exhaustion of the mines by wasteful methods of mining and the demonetization of silver started a decline in the 1870s. By 1898 the Comstock was virtually abandoned.


See G. Smith, History of the Comstock Lode (1943); G. Lyman, The Saga of the Comstock Lode (1934, repr. 1971); L. Beebe and C. Clegg, Legends of the Comstock Lode (4th ed. 1956).

Comstock Lode

richest silver vein in world. [Amer. Hist.: Flexner, 177]

Comstock Lode

richest silver deposit in U.S.; famous during frontier days. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 418]
References in periodicals archive ?
Since 1864, Sutro had unsuccessfully lobbied the federal government and bankers in San Francisco, New York, and London for capital to begin construction on a four-mile long drainage and ventilation tunnel underneath the Comstock Lode that would "liberate streams of wealth" from the earth.
This region has generated a number of successful mines including Paradise Peak and the historic Comstock Lode District.
Supports the current development of the county s significant mineral resources without impeding the growth of the tourism-based economy of the Comstock Lode.
The rich shelf of silver and gold ore discovered deep below Virginia City was subsequently dubbed the Comstock Lode.
The Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859 and remained prosperous for twenty years.
Prior to this meeting, the company will host an Investor Day on June 26, 2013, at the Gold Hill Hotel and its holdings in the Comstock Lode District.
We look forward to meeting you and discussing the recent return of production on the Historic Comstock Lode, Gold Hill, Nevada.
This marks the commencement of full mining activities and the highly anticipated return of mining to the historic Comstock Lode near Virginia City and Gold Hill, Nevada.
Mercury is a naturally occurring metal found in very low concentrations in the mineralized rocks of the Comstock Lode.
Hercules is located approximately 25 miles southwest of Reno, 7 miles outside of Dayton, 10 miles from the Comstock Lode Deposit and 15 miles from the Talapoosa Mine.
The year before, gold had been discovered at the famous Comstock Lode.