inside comstock gold mill

What better way to experience the robust history of the Comstock Lode than by visiting a fully operational mill that processed millions of dollars in silver ore that came from it? While the museums and interpretive centers devoted to telling the history of Virginia City are top tier, there is no better way to understand the magnitude of the silver strike in this city, than seeing and feeling the mightiness of a working stamp mill.

As the last fully operational stamp mill in the state, the mill at Comstock Gold Mill first operated in Marietta Ghost Town, near Hawthorne. It was built in 1864, the same year Nevada became a state, and built by Joshua Hendy in San Francisco. The mill is a two stamp gold mill, which was used to process gold and silver rich ore by stamping it (or breaking it down) to extract the precious materials. Interestingly enough, though the mill originally came from the town of Marietta, it did in fact process Comstock silver and gold. Funny how things have a way of coming full circle, isn’t it? While Virginia City was home to the largest silver strike in United States history and home to a mind-melting 236 mills operating round the clock, the Comstock Gold Mill is one of only three that remain and connected to Virginia City-area history. Best yet, it is the only that still functions.

gold millcomstock gold mill

Aside from taking a trip back in time by experiencing the rumble an 1860s-era gold mill in full swing, anyone visiting the Comstock Gold Mill today can expect a colorful rundown of powerful rundown of Virginia City’s mining history. Here, visitors can bask in the glory of Outlaw Dave, the caretaker of the Comstock Gold Mill. Nobody knows the history better, or will make certain you see the magic before your departure.

man at comstock gold mill


Admission to Comstock Gold Mill is $10 for adults, and $5 for children ages 12-18. Kids age 12 and under are free! Though the cost of admission to the Comstock Gold Mill is minimal, this enriching cultural center depends on donations. Visitors are encouraged to donate any extra amount, which helps with establishing and preservation of this historic mill, and supports future additions to the property.


The Comstock Gold Mill is open seasonally during the months of May through October, on Thursday thru Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Large groups of up to 60 can be accommodated by appointment only, please. When making your reservation, be sure to ask about discounts for school and tour groups!

This Location:

Northwestern, Nevada