Four historic Virginia City homes moving to expand courthouse parking

Four historic Virginia City homes are moving to make room for a larger parking lot for the courthouse and Piper’s Opera House.

Storey County Manager Pat Whitten said the houses are all less than 1,000 square feet and located immediately south of the existing tiny parking lot.

“I call them company houses,” he said.

He said they received approval recently to move the homes.

“The Historic Commission said they could be moved but had to be moved to certain locations and remain within the Comstock District,” he said.

The county bought the property for $262,500 but, when it tried to auction the houses off, Whitten said the best bid received was only about $10.

“So I turned to Comstock Mining,” he said. “They came back and said, sure, we can take two.”

So two of the houses will move to American Flat and Comstock Mining property.

Whitten said the county donated one of the homes, “I think the coolest one,” to the Comstock Cemetery Foundation.

It will be located at the cemetery where he said it will become a visitor’s center.

He said when the Cemetery Foundation came up short on money to move the house, Comstock Mining came through again, agreeing to foot the bill for the move.

“It’s not cheap to move a house,” he said.

As of Wednesday, Whitten said two of the houses have been moved and the second Comstock Mining house is being prepared for moving.

The fourth house, he said, was purchased by Ed and Molly Burnett. IT will be moved to E Street in Virginia City where a pad and foundation are being prepared.

He said that house will apparently have to be cut in half to move it.

As a parking lot, the property will provide spaces for about 20 vehicles. The space, he said, can also be used for special events in the future but he said it’s primary use will be off-street parking “which is precious around here.”


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