Silver State Sights - The Fourth Ward School

Located at 537 South “C” Street in Virginia CIty
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 12:10 PM PDT
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VIRGINIA CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - As you enter Virginia City from the side closest to Carson City, it’s one of the first buildings you come across, and one that you can’t help but take notice of.

The Fourth Ward School is a four story building that like so many buildings in Virginia City was built in 1876 – the year after a fire burned down so much of the town.

“It’s unique in every place,” said Executive Director Nora Stefu. “Even coming up the stairs and opening that 50 pound door to come into the museum.”

The building is authentic, but the upkeep and restoration has been a year’s long process.

“Several million dollars later thanks to the people who had the foresight to protect this building back in the 40′s and 50′s, we now have a Comstock icon,” said Virginia City native Ron Gallagher.

The Fourth Ward School could accommodate more than 1,000 students and was very advanced technologically for its time with indoor flushing toilets and plumbing on each floor, drinking fountains, single desks for each student, and an advanced heating and ventilation system.

Classes took place at the fourth ward until 1936, and fifty years later the building was reopened at the museum it is now. Today you’ll find a classroom set up like it would have been when it was open. An alumni room, even a museum dedicated to the mining that made Virginia City famous.

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