%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
People & Life Ways
Riches, Ranching & Railroads

Fourth Ward School

The Fourth Ward school in Virginia City was a symbol for the glory of the Comstock Lode and the town that mining riches had built.  Constructed at a cost of $100,000 in 1876, the school was designed to accommodate 1,025 students.  It was a modern facility with a number of innovative features.  A gymnasium shared the top floor with vocational training facilities.  Water was piped to all four floors, and high ceilings and large windows provided fresh air, believed to help reduce contagious disease.  The first graduating classes were small, but thousands of students passed through its doors until the last Fourth Ward school class graduated in 1935.

Facilities such as those at the Fourth Ward school were not the standard for schools throughout the state.  Education for community children, however, was an important goal in Nevada, and schools, some of them housed in one room cabins, flourished throughout the state.

Photo Credit:
Nevada State Museum