Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Pacific States
Nevada Virginia City

Silver City, Nevada

Silver City was settled in 1859 and incorporated as a town in 1877.

In 1862, Robert C. Buhan was given the right "to lay distributing water pipes in any of the public streets or alleys of the Town of Silver City" for a period of twenty years.  No evidence has been found that this company built anything.

The Town of Silver City built a distribution system in 1877 that was supplied with water purchased from the Virginia and Gold Hill Water Company

Water is provided by the Storey County Public Works Department, which buys water from the State of Nevada

1862 An Act to supply the Town of Silver City, in the County of Lyon, with Water, and to protect the Town against Fires.  December 19, 1862.

1866 Map of the State of Nevada, U.S. General Land Office.  Shows location of Silver City in Lyon County.

1874 Territorial Enterprise (Virginia City, Nevada), November 8, 1874, Page 3.
Arrangements are being made by the Virginia and Gold Hill Water Company for supplying the town of Silver city with pure water from the Sierras.  The first car load of pipe for this work arrived day before yesterday.

1874 Territorial Enterprise (Virginia City, Nevada), December 2, 1874, Page 3.
Sierra Water for Silver City. The Virginia and Gold Hill Water Company expect to be furnishing the citizens of Silver City in a short time with pure water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

1874 Territorial Enterprise (Virginia City, Nevada), December 29, 1874, Page 8.
The Sierra Water in Silver. The Virginia and Gold Hill Water Company have their mains laid through the principal streets of Silver City, and workmen are now engaged putting pipes into residences and business houses.  The people of Silver City have long needed an abundant supply of pure water for household use; also for fire purposes.

1876 Territorial Enterprise (Virginia City, Nevada), August 19, 1876, Page 3.
The people of Silver City are trying to establish a system of water-works in their streets for the protection of property from fire.  They estimate the cost of pipes at $4,500.  The Water Company would charge them $100 a month for the supply.

1877 An Act to incorporate Silver City, Lyon County, Nevada.  March 2, 1877.
Sec. 9.  The Board of Trustees shall have the power:
First - To make contracts for laying water pipes, constructing buildings and reservoirs, hydrants, furnishing hose, water, and all necessary apparatus for the prevention and extinguishment of fire in said Silver City, and to hold, manage, and use the same.

1877 "Silver City Water Works," Territorial Enterprise (Virginia City, Nevada), October 4, 1877, Page 3.
The new reservoir of the Silver City water works has a capacity of 50,000 gallons, and is situated at an elevation sufficient to give an average pressure over 200 feet at any point on Main street.  A six-inch main will be laid from the reservoir to Main street, from which point the main will be four inch.

1877 Territorial Enterprise (Virginia City, Nevada), October 25, 1877, Page 3.
For the purpose of constructing the water works, there was a levy on Silver City property of one dollar on each
$100 valuation.  The total amount of the taxes thus imposed is $3,788.74.

1877 "Silver City Water Works," Territorial Enterprise (Virginia City, Nevada), December 2, 1877, Page 3.
Their Completion and Trail -- The Hydrants, Mains, Etc., All in Working Order.  The Silver City water works, for protection against fire, are completed.  The supply of water is, of course, ample, and the pressure all that is needed.
The reservoir is located, says the Times, on the hillside, on the upper end of town, nearly opposite the Pioneer mill.  It is a well-built structure, of 50,000 gallons capacity, and the suppy pipe is provided with a float stop, so it is always full.  It is estimated that, with the hydrants all open, it would take over three hours to run the reservoir dry.  The main at the lower end of town, for a few hundred feet, is three-inch, and then four-inch pipe is laid along up Main street to a point opposite the reservoir, and the remainder is six inches in diameter.  On Third street a four-inch main is laid to the plaza, where a hydrant is located.  There are nine hydrants located at convenient distances on Main street.  The pressure at the upper end of Main street is 190 feet; at Harris' assay office, 220 feet, and at the Sierra Nevada House, 320 feet.
The head is sufficient to throw a stream, through an inch and a quarter nozzle, from 100 to 150 feet high.  The works were tested Thursday, and with satisfactory results.  Through the liberality of the trustees campagne and other liquors flowed almost as freely as the water during the trial.

1879 United States Annual Mining Review and Stock Ledger: Containing Detailed Official Reports of the Principal Gold and Silver Mines ... for the Year 1879
Page 155-156:  Virginia and Gold Hill Water Company.  Gold Hill and Silver City are also supplied by the same company, as are all the mills situated along the line of the Comstock. 

1882 Virginia City, Engineering News 9:156  (May 13, 1882)  Mentions service to Silver City.

1888 "Virginia City, Gold Hill, and Silver City," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Virginia City Gold Hill, and Silver City," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Silver City," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Silver City," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1935 Nevada; a Narrative of the Conquest of a Frontier Land: Comprising the Story of Her People from the Dawn of History to the Present Time, Volume III, James Graves Scrugham
Pages 340-341:  James A. Lawson of Silver City has been a made of affairs in that community, mine owner, interested in ranching and live stock, real estate operator, public official, and there has hardly been an interest of the community during the past forty years with which he has not had some influential contact.
Mr. Lawson was born at Silver City, August 18, 1876.
Mr. Lawson is manager of the Silver City Water Works.

2017 Morris A. Pierce