Knights of Pythias Hall, West side B Street, between Union & Sutton Streets, Virginia City, Storey County, NV
See also HABS NV-15-20 for related documentation.
Significance: The picturesque Miners' Union and Knights of Pythias Halls are two of the few unaltered false-fronted buildings remaining in Virginia City. "Nevada Lodge No. 1" of the Knights of Pythias was formed in Virginia City on March 23, 1873. The Lodge's paraphernalia was consumed in a fire on September 11, 1875. New regalia, procured from the defunct lodge at Genoa, burned in the Great Virginia City Fire six weeks later. The existing cast iron and stuccoed brick building was built in 1875. Nevada shared it with the city's other lodges: Lincoln, No. 6 (1874), and Triumph, No. 11 (1879). A "Miners' Protective Association" was formed at Virginia City on June 6, 1863, with the central purpose of maintaining the standard wage of $4.00 a day for all work underground. Subsequently, the first demonstration to enforce this rate occurred at Gold Hill on July 31, 1864. Blacklisting of union members and general economic hard times reduced employment in 1864-65; the league disintegrated, and a wage of $3.50 was temporarily established in the spring of 1865. Employment revived, however, and a new miners' union was formed on July 4, 1867. Even after the Comstock was visibly and permanently declining in the late 1870's, the union successfully maintained the $4.00 rate. The original single story, wood meeting hall burned in the great fire of October 26, 1875. Its brick replacement, built in 1876, included an upstairs library. This library, established in 1877, was the only public library in Virginia City and the largest general library in the state. Union families had free access to its 2200 volumes while others paid $.50 a month.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: FN-8
Survey number: HABS NV-15-11
Building/structure dates: 1876 Initial Construction
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 66000458