Gold Hill, Nevada
Gold Hill was the second largest town in the Comstock Lode after Virginia City and in both 1870 and 1880 was the second largest city in the state of Nevada. At it's peak in the 1870s Gold Hill may have had as many as 8,000 residents. The highest count for Gold Hill in any census however was 4,531 in 1880. After 1880 Gold Hill's population declined and is now about 170. There are mining relics all over the hillsides around Gold Hill. Some are accessible and others might be accessible with a high clearance vehicle. Many of the mining structures that I saw looked to be from the 20th century but some may have been older. There are only a few standing 19th century commercial/residential buildings in Gold Hill. The Gold Hill Hotel and Saloon is restored and open for business.
The American Flats Mill (pictured above) was built in 1922 just outside Gold Hill in what was then American City. The mill apparently closed just 4 years later in 1926. The dirt roads around the American Flats Mill were very confusing to me. Some are being used by an active mining operation that has placed confusing "Do not enter" type signs here and there. Some of the roads may not be traversable without a high clearance vehicle. I got pretty lost as I was trying to find the mill. I was not able to get closer than the vantage point that I took the above picture from. If I make it back and am able to find it, I'll post directions here. This is an interesting page with much better pictures and more information about the American Flats Mill.
The Masonic Cemetery is another interesting place I went to in Gold Hill. The Cemetery is in deplorable condition. Most of it's tombstones have been vandalized but someone has recently been making an effort to maintain it. There is a nicely restored train depot in Gold Hill. The depot was not open when I visited and I'm not sure if it's ever used. The status of the Historic Virginia and Truckee Railroad which would use the Gold Hill Depot is unclear to me. The thriving and touristy Virginia City is about 2 Miles North of Gold Hill on highway 342. Silver City is about 2 miles South.
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