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Virginia City is the county seat of Storey County, Nevada. The unincorporated town began as a boomtown following the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode, the first major silver discovery in the United States, resulting in the opening of several mines. The output of the mines declined after 1878, as did its population. Once boasting about 25,000 residents, Virginia City had fewer than a thousand residents at the time of the 2010 census. Although Henry P.T. Comstock’s name was associated with the discovery of the Comstock Lode, Peter O’Riley and Patrick McLaughlin were the actual discoverers. Samuel Clemens first used his pen name, Mark Twain, while he was a reporter on the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City. Currently, the town’s economy is based on tourism, and it is home to several interpretive museums and historical sites, and hosts many historic event celebrations. Richard Kirman, Sr., the 17th governor of Nevada, was born in Virginia City.


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