News from the Comstock
Wednesday. . .October 27, 1875
|In The Spirit of Mark Twain|
Virginia City, Nevada
Vol. XXXI. No. 76
Virginia City Rocked by Fire.
The Enterprise is not quite full size this morning. Only by the courtesy of some kind friends are we permitted to put in any appearance at all to day. There was a convulsion in Virginia City yesterday. A breath of hell melted the main portion of the town to ruins. Our eyes are still dazed by the lurid glare; our ears are still ringing with the chaos of sounds of a great city passing away on the whirlwind of a storm of fire. As the sun arose yesterday morning it turned to purple and gold the smiling features of the most prosperous city on earth. Before the sun set, last night, the greater portion of that city had disappeared; and men and women and little children, by hundreds and thousands, knew not where to get a morsel of food, or where to lay their heads. The catastrophe is appalling. Men give and receive cheerful salutations as they meet, and brave women smile out of countenance the hard fate that has overtaken them; but the heartaches are sore, nevertheless. We know our people will rally from this blow; that, though houses have disappeared and vaults have been rent open by the fire, away down under the ruins there is a treasure safe which will rebuild our city more staunch and fair than it was before. But that promise of the future does not make lighter the suffering of the awful present, and we beseech from this generous coast a full measure of their sympathy for our poor. Those who yesterday would have gladly helped them are poor themselves to-day. An inclement winter is close upon us; there are many hundreds here who have neither houses nor food. They are a strong, brave race, and if California can furnish work for them, they will give a better return for their wages than any other people on earth. Meanwhile, for our people generally there is nothing to do but to go to work. The calamity looks at its worst to-day. Millions of dollars above ground will back the millions below. The shafts to the great mines are uninjured; many of the wrecked engines can be wakened, and in a few weeks the old harmonious clamor will again be heard, and prosperity will come back to us. The whole coast will be more or less affected by this catastrophe. Our mine owners understand this, and will strain every nerve to as swiftly as possible bridge this chasm which has opened at our feet. There is nothing to despair about, and we have not been in this desert for years without learning something of the virtue which suffers without complaining. The winds and the flame conspired against our city yesterday, but neither tempests nor fire can prevail against steadfast souls, and all the scars of yesterday can be erased.
A LITTLE RESTLESS.
A flash of the wire, yesterday, informed us that San Francisco was a good deal exercised over the news of the catastrophe which had overtaken our city. Stocks tumbled out of sight, and a panicky atmosphere seemed to fill the streets of the Earthquake City. The spiritualists have been predicting the fire for some weeks; the "Record Union" and Marysville "Appeal" have foretold the fall in stocks. Both predictions have been realized. Two hoisting works and two mills went down in Virginia City, and the commercial center of the coast was shaken out of its equanimity. California should use more philosophy. All her wheat fields are left; all her infant manufacturers are secure--our little loss should not so affect the people of that city. But, really, the deep chambers of the Comstock are still intact. They felt no breath of the fire fiend, and in a few weeks they will be heard from again, just as they have been in the past.
The greatest loss sustained by the Enterprise, yesterday, was in the destruction of its files, which reached uninterruptedly back to 1858. They are a loss to the public as well as to this journal, as they contained the only complete history of Nevada in existence, and were invaluable in the adjustment of real estate and mining matters before the Courts. We shall endeavor to replace them as far as possible, but have no hope of being able to more than partially restore the lost records. Snow.--It began snowing at quite a lively rate last night about 11 o'clock. This is probably the beginning of the big storm which Mrs. Bowers, the Washoe Seeress, predicted would occur two days after the fire which should destroy the city.
With the exception of a few legal advertisements, the publication of which is necessary, the most of our little space this morning is given to the terrible calamity which laid Virginia City in ashes, and left the Enterprise houseless, and without an ounce of material with which to continue the publication to-day. We are indebted to the Gold Hill "News" for the type and paper used in this issue. The materials of the Lyons County "Times," Sutro "Independent" and Reno "Journal" were kindly placed at our command; but with the assistance of the "News" we shall be able to continue our daily issues in some form until a new and complete establishment can be received from San Francisco. Meantime, we cannot be asking too much in craving the indulgence of our many patrons.
PLACE OF BUSINESS.
Until further notice the business of the Daily and Weekly Territorial Enterprise will be at E. Driscoll & Co.'s corner of C and Taylor streets, at which place orders and advertisements may be left.
Special thanks to Rich Benyo for the typing of the 4 pt. type from the original newspaper.
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