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The Historic Fourth Ward School Museum is open daily

May 1 through October 31, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tours can be arranged year round by calling (775) 847-0975 or by email at director@fourthwardschool.org

The Historic Fourth Ward School Museum is operated by a non-profit foundation.
Your paid admission helps support “The Last One Standing.”

General Admission

  • Adults 17 and older $6.00
  • Children 6 to 16 years $3.00
  • Children 5 years and younger are free
  • Blue Star Museum: Free for active military with current ID Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Group Tours

Group Tours

Group tours are available year round with advanced reservations: 
Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Special weekend tours are available depending on events and programming.
Please contact the museum director at (775) 847-0975 or director@fourthwardschool.org for more information or to make a reservation.

Group tour rates are the same as general admission:

  • Adults 17 and older $6.00
  • Children 6 to 16 years $3.00
  • Children 5 years and younger are free
  • Special rates are available for K through 12 school tours. See additional information under School Tours.

  • Food, drinks, and gum are prohibited.  
  • Only pencils may be used in the galleries, the use of pens and markers is prohibited.
  • Flash photography is allowed in the museum for personal use only.
  • Please respect the experience of other museum visitors and step outside of the museum if you need to use your cell phone.
  • Please follow the instructions of museum staff and docents.
  • The Museum reserves the right to refuse or dismiss any group for misconduct.
School Tours

School Tours

Guided school tours are available year round with advanced reservation. School tours are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Please contact the museum director at (775) 847-0975 or director@fourthwardschool.org to make a reservation.

  • We have a special K through 12 school tour rate of $2.00 per person.
  • This includes teachers, students, and adult chaperones. We require a minimum of one adult chaperone for every ten students through grade 12.
  • Chaperones are responsible for the behavior of their groups and must accompany their groups at all times.
  • Visitors should keep their voices low.
  • Running and rough play are prohibited.
  • Food, drinks, and gum are prohibited. Please leave lunches and backpacks on the bus or in vehicles.
  • Only pencils may be used in the galleries, the use of pens and markers is prohibited.
  • Flash photography is allowed in the museum for personal use only.
  • Please respect the experience of other museum visitors and step outside of the museum if you need to use your cell phone.
  • Please follow the instructions of museum staff and docents.
  • The Museum reserves the right to refuse or dismiss any group for misconduct.

Teacher Resources

A Treasure Hunt

A set of questions developed for teachers and students about the Fourth Ward School and the Comstock. All of the answers can be found within the walls of the Fourth Ward School Museum. It’s not just for students. Think you know your Comstock History? Go ahead and test your knowledge! Download the Fourth Ward School Museum Treasure Hunt PDF.

Modern Mining: An Interactive Exhibit Available in the Mining Gallery

This exhibit tells the story of the various steps in modern mining. Come and visit the Historic Fourth Ward School Museum to play with the exhibit and to see more.

On Silver Mountain: Chinese on the Comstock

“Virginia City was one of the largest communities west of the Mississippi. People settled there from all over the world, but we do not always give enough credit to each of the various groups as we form our image of the Old West. Among the people who helped build Virginia City were Chinese immigrants, arriving with the dream of improving their lives. Virginia City in its heyday had one of the largest concentrations of Chinese in Nevada, and their many crucial contributions continue to echo to this day. Without them, the Comstock would have been a very different place. This exhibit honors all of the Chinese who struggled to make a better life for themselves, leaving indelible footprints in the sands of Nevada history.”

From Rags to Riches to Rags: The Exhibit and Related Activities

Susan James and Summer Kay

The following text is from the Rags to Riches to Rags exhibit on display at the Historic Fourth Ward School Museum in Virginia City, Nevada, during it’s 2004 open season. Click on the title above for the complete text.

“The gold and silver discoveries of the American West captivated those who dreamed of fabulous wealth. A timely mineral strike might turn a poor prospector into a millionaire. A twist of fate could replace affluence with poverty. Mining, with its opportunity for immense prosperity or complete ruin, was the nineteenth-century version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

In Nevada, the familiar rags to riches stories found a home on the Comstock Lode, where fortunes were made ~ and lost ~ overnight.” Overview – Craig Rock

The Comstock: A Historic Overview – Ron James

“In 1859, placer miners and prospectors in the western Great Basin made two remarkable strikes of gold and silver ore breaching a mountain’s slope. It was the culmination of regional discoveries and excitement that began a decade before with the famed California Gold Rush of 1849. That earlier phenomenon transformed North American society and politics, forever changing the center of gravity of the maturing nation.”

Lessons

Teaching English in the 19th Century – Christine Prater Steam Power – Camille Stegman (with intro by Ron James) Sierra Timber on the Comstock – Craig Rock Medical Practices in the late 19th Century – Christy Ann Strange Geology, Discovery and Development of the Comstock – Bernard Young

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