boomtown saloons archaeology and history in virginia city shepperson series in nevada history

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Boomtown Saloons

Author : Kelly J. Dixon
ISBN : 9780874176391
Genre : History
File Size : 76. 44 MB
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The image of Old West saloons as sites of violence and raucous entertainment has been perpetuated by film and legend, but the true story of such establishments is far more complex. In Boomtown Saloons, archaeologist Kelly J. Dixon recounts the excavation of four historic saloon sites in Nevada’s Virginia City, one of the West’s most important boomtowns, and shows how the physical traces of this handful of disparate drinking places offer a new perspective on authentic life in the mining West. During the second half of the nineteenth century, the Comstock Lode’s mineral wealth attracted people from all over the world. At its peak, Virginia City had a cosmopolitan population of over 20,000 people. Like people everywhere, they sought to pass their leisure time in congenial company, often in one or another of the four saloons studied here. Dixon’s account of the role these four establishments played in the social and economic life of Virginia City offers keen insight into the businesses and people who made up the backdrop of a mining boomtown. The saloons in this study were quieter than legend would have us believe; they served relatively distinct groups and offered their customers a place of refuge, solidarity, and social contact with peers in a city where few people had longtime ties or initially any close contacts. Boomtown Saloons also offers an equally vivid portrait of the modern historical archaeologist who combines time-honored digging, reconstruction, and analysis methods with such cutting-edge technology as DNA analysis of saliva traces on a 150-year-old pipestem and chemical analysis of the residue in discarded condiment bottles. The book is illustrated with historical photographs and maps, as well as photographs of artifacts uncovered during the excavations of the four sites. Dixon’s sparkling text and thoughtful interpretation of evidence reveal an unknown aspect of daily life in one of the West’s most storied boomtowns and demonstrate that, contrary to legend, the traditional western saloon served an vital and complex social role in its community.Available in hardcover and paperback.

Spring 2011

Author : Logaranee Gunaratnam
ISBN :
Genre :
File Size : 71. 9 MB
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University Of Nevada Press Spring 2006

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File Size : 38. 89 MB
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Virginia City

Author : Ronald M. James
ISBN : 9780803240087
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 79 MB
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Spent cartridges. The pieces of an original Tabasco Pepper Sauce bottle. Shards of a ceramic pot, stained red. For archaeologists each of the thousands of artifacts uncovered at a site tells a story. For noted Comstock authority Ronald M. James, it is a story resulting from decades of research and excavation at one of the largest National Historic Landmarks in America, the Nevada town that, with the discovery of the Comstock Lode, became a boomtown microcosm of the American West. Drawing on the work of hundreds of volunteers, students, and professional archaeologists, Virginia City: Secrets of a Western Past shows how every detail—from unearthed artifacts to reports of local saloons to plans for the cemetery to surviving nineteenth-century buildings—adds to our view of Virginia City when it was one of the richest places on earth. James recreates this unlikely epitome of frontier industry and cosmopolitan living, the thriving hub of corporate executives, middle-class families, miners, prostitutes, and barkeepers—and more foreign-born residents per capita than anywhere else in the country—in a spot that had begun its life a few years earlier as the mining camp of several lucky guys. An excavation of the history of Virginia City, a window on the heyday of the American frontier, James’s book is also an enlightening look at how archaeology brings the story of the past to life.

Comstock Women

Author : Ronald Michael James
ISBN : 0874172977
Genre : History
File Size : 85. 75 MB
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When it comes to Nevada history, men get most of the ink. Comstock Women is a collection of 14 historical studies that helps to rectify that reality. The authors of these essays, who include some of Nevada's most prominent historians, demographers, and archaeologists, explore such topics as women and politics, jobs, and ethnic groups. Their work goes far in refuting the exaggerated popular images of women in early mining towns as dance hall girls or prostitutes. Relying primarily on newspapers, court decisions, census records, as well as sparse personal diaries and records left by the woman, the essayists have resurrected the lives of the women who lived on the Comstock during the boom years.

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