American City and Comstock

American City - Mining began in American Flat after silver and gold discoveries were made outside of Gold Canyon in 1860. In January 1864, a new townsite known as American City was laid out and its founding fathers offered a bribe of $50,000 to relocate the capitol from Carson City. Most of Storey County was in favor of the move, but the rest of the state opposed and legislators rejected the proposal.

Before long, American City was home to two large hotels and numerous other small businesses. A post office was opened in 1866, but American City didn't last long after that. By the end of the 1860s, American City was a ghost.

Comstock - In 1920, during a low point in mining on the Comstock Lode, the United Comstock Mines Company was established to work properties around Gold Hill. Breaking ground July 1, 1921, the Company constructed a $1.5 million cyanide mill in American Flat, and a two-mile spur connecting the complex to the Virginia & Truckee Railroad was built. A company town known as Comstock was created just to the north-west of the mill and provided housing, a store, and other company buildings to its workers.

By 1923, the UCMC mill had produced approximately $3.4 million, but high expenses caused the profits to be nearly nothing. The UCMC's ventures were all sold to the newly-formed Comstock Merger Mines, Inc. and the UCMC went out of business. The mill continued to operate until 1927, when operations were ceased due to the low cost of silver. The equipment was all removed and sold to a firm from San Francisco, and the property was sold to the Sutro Coalition Company, but has remained idle since. The large cement shells of the mill and its facilities remained until 2014, when they were demolished due to safety concerns.

I Visited American Flat
4.22.2007 & 7.10.2009

See Also
Gold Hill