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A chance to explore the Comstock’s Sutro Tunnel

Sutro Tunnel
Sutro Tunnel(Daniel Pyke/KOLO)
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 10:34 PM PDT
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DAYTON, Nev. (KOLO) -The public is invited to explore the Sutro Tunnel Sunday, Oct. 17, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The $65 tickets for the event are a fundraiser for Friends of the Sutro Tunnel.

The 3.8-mile Sutro Tunnel was built by Comstock entrepreneur Adolph Sutro that went from the Savage Mine in Virginia City to the Dayton area.

Tunnel construction began Oct. 19, 1869, and finished Sept. 1, 1878, while the Comstock was in decline. Once fully operational in 1878, 2 million to 4 million gallons of water drained from the upper levels of the Comstock mines via the Sutro Tunnel daily. Today the tunnel drains about 13 million gallons of water annually.

The tunnel cost $2 million to $3.5 million to build. It worked but never became a moneymaker for Sutro, who sold his shares for $1 million in 1879. He left the mining industry and became a successful real estate developer in San Francisco and was elected mayor in 1894.

Friends of the Sutro Tunnel are also asking for donations to help with their restoration work.

Restoration work of the on-site carriage house, warehouse, loading dock, mule barn, machine shop and entrance to the tunnel has begun, but public support is necessary in order to fully revitalize the site.

Donation details: https://thesutrotunnel.org/how-you-can-help

Earlier this month, the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation donated three National Park-style signs to be installed at the Sutro site in spring 2022. These three interpretive panels are to draw attention to Adolph Sutro’s Jewish heritage and his vision to create the Sutro Tunnel.

“There is great commonality woven into the American Experience,” Jerry Klinger, representative for the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, said in a statement. “Even in the late 1860s a mix of different people with different views came together at the Sutro site to help build something greater than themselves. They came together as a people and a country. This is what our Society hopes to celebrate and share with those visiting this incredible site.”

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