In 1859 the discovery of the famous Comstock Lode in Western Nevada led to the building of Virginia City, a prosperous community on the side of a mountain where human beings under ordinary conditions would not have lived, and eventually brought a new state into existence.
In two years $7,000,000 worth of gold and silver had been taken from the Tonopah mines and it was asserted that they would prove as rich as the mines of the Comstock Lode.
The most powerful impulse to mining operations, and the immediate cause of a somewhat lengthy period of wild excitement and speculation, was the discovery and successful opening of the Comstock lode in 1859, in the western part of what is now Nevada, but was then part of Utah.
This was a stock speculation based on the remarkable output ($ 3 00,000,000 in 20 years) of the silver " bonanzas " of the Comstock lode at Virginia City, Nevada, which were opened and financed by San Francisco capitalists.
In April 1872 came the revulsion; there was a shrinkage of $60,000,000 in ten days; then in 1873 a tremendous advance, and in 1875 a final and disastrous collapse; in ten years thereafter the stock of the Comstock lode shrank from $3,000,000 to $2,000,000.