Univ. of Oregon interns to study historic buildings in Virginia City

Virginia City, Nev. – The Nevada State Historic Preservation Office and Storey County are excited to announce that four student interns from the University of Oregon have been selected to conduct survey work in the Virginia City Historic District and discover the fascinating history of the Comstock. The students will be working in teams of two to photograph and document the exteriors of buildings in Virginia City, the Divide, and Gold Hill.

Information collected during this survey will be used for future preservation projects that will compare the new data with existing survey data demonstrating the district's changes over time. In addition, the survey effort will provide valuable data for County planning efforts, particularly related to emergency management.

“Virginia City is known around the world as a time capsule representing a pivotal time in the American West,” said Rebecca Palmer, Administrator of the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. “This internship program provides a great opportunity to gather information about the historic Virginia City area and connect the next generation of stewards to the enchanting history of this region.”

The survey project is funded by a Historic Preservation Fund grant provided to Storey County, which is working collaboratively with the State Historic Preservation Office to establish the survey goals and procedures, organize the fieldwork, and provide lodging for the interns.

“Storey County looks forward to working with the students and maximizing this opportunity to share our historic community with them,” said Lara Mather, Storey County’s Community Relations Coordinator. “Their work documenting Virginia City’s past will be essential to the planning of Virginia City’s future.”

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and a designated National Historic Landmark, the district’s historic resources have not been inventoried and documented since the late 1980s.

The survey work will be completed by four graduate student interns from the University of Oregon Historic Preservation Program:

  • Jordan Aungye Paing is a Fulbright Scholar from Burma and has a background in architecture
  • Cayla McGrail’s historic preservation studies focus on underrepresented histories
  • Victoria Banda has a background in history and was inspired to study historic preservation after seeing her hometown transformed through numerous preservation projects
  • Hannah Mellor comes from a sciences and GIS background and is interested in urban planning and preservation planning

If you see these students out and about in Virginia City, the Divide, and Gold Hill, feel free to say hello and ask questions about the project! They will be conducting survey fieldwork five days a week from July 12 to August 6, 2021.

 For more information about the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office, please visit https://shpo.nv.gov/.