Fourth Ward School Museum, Virginia City

The parking lot had plenty of spaces when I arrived at the museum for the Fourth Ward School. I hoped the inside would be air conditions but, still, when I exited my car I grabbed my warm bottle of water. You never know when you might need a sip of water in the summer, even if it isn’t cold water. It’s the thought that counts, right? In any case, I was getting thirsty. So there’s that.

I glanced down the road, away from Viriginia City’s main street, and noted a sign indicating a tour of an old silver mine. Well, I was down for that! I made a mental note to venture there after touring the museum.

The interior was delightfully cooler than the warm- and getting warmer- outdoors so I greeted the air conditioning with a smile as I walked toward the counter. I had to pay something to get in. I don’t remember what the amount was. I was given a map of the school before going on my merry way.

I should say- what I was given was really what looked like an old newspaper page with the map of the school on one side and old news articles on the other: articles discussing the history of the school.

There are two floors open to the public, all the open rooms dedicated to the history of the school and the area. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers of how awesomely historical this place is, but one of the rooms had an exhibit of the Comstock Lode and its related history which I thought was really cool. Basically, a history of the silver mining in the area. There was also a room dedicated specifically to the mining itself, not just related history. This particular room had an air conditioning unit positioned just under a window; a fellow museum goer and I enjoyed standing in front of this for several minutes while cooling ourselves.

A couple more rooms I ventured in detailed, in one, the alumni of the school and, in the other, a recreation of one of the old school rooms, adorned with desks. I’m honestly not sure how long I wandered around the museum for. I lost track of time. Before climbing back into my car, I talked with a guy at the entrance about all the bottles of water on the counter.

In my defense, there were several, all at varying degrees of half-full. (See? I’m an optimist…)

At this point I sheepishly held out my bottle, also half-full. Didn’t get in trouble; yay! I was told that I was forgiven. And, anyway, the water bottle thing was done more on the honor system anyway. (Or so he said. Although he could’ve been trying to make me feel better. I’ll never know.)

My AC wasn’t working too great still, so I considered turning around and going back to Reno, even though the Chollar Mine sounded intriguing to me. It was hot both outside and inside my car.

To be continued…

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