Virginia City Gets a Makeover

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Up in the comstock, some of Virginia City's most prominent historic sites are getting a little TLC. The old mining town is the focus of this year's "Tourism Cares" project.

Jeanne Weber has owned a shop on Virginia City's Main Street for 20 years. She says the small town has a lot to offer for travelers passing through, but she admits, it's historic charm could use a little sprucing up.

"We need to support it or it will be gone one day. We don't want that to happen of course."

Around 300 volunteers from "Tourism Cares" want to make sure that doesn't happen. They offered their time and money, and they only picked one place to restore in the whole United StateS. They say Virginia City needed it most.

"We looked for a place steeped in history, that was important to travelers and really needed help and care with rejuvination."

Projects included the rebuilding of this Main Street staircase. It had almost completely deteriorated before they got their tools on it. They also restored these vintage lamps...repainted the streets...attended to the Piper Opera House...and cleaned up Virginia City's cherished cemetary.

One of their larger projects was the Saint Mary's in the Mountains Catholic Church.

"It needs a lot of work. It's one of the oldest in the state, one of the most photographed in the whole state of Nevada."

They polished pews and cleaned up the inside of the cathedral, hoping not only to restore the building, but also restore Virginia City charm.

Virginia City residents already have a lot of town pride, but with all the extra work, they are hoping others will also see the town for what it is.

"We are a destination. You have to go out of your way to come here. We really need to get the word out that Virginia City is a historical monument and we need to support it."

This is the first time Tourism Cares has picked a project out West. Past projects include restoring Ellis Island, New Orleans, and Gulfport, Mississippi.