African Americans and the Boston Saloon
"What a great story suffering from an awful marker placement. I'll bet one out of a hundred tourists who flock here every year will ever read, let alone see, this awesome marker." -- Journal Entry, November 2007
Original Date Visited: 11/7/07
Notes: Chances are you've been to Virginia City and have never seen this marker.  is nothing more than a lone plaque that's mounted on the side of an ATM kiosk and quite frankly, its placement seems a bit rushed and leaves a lot to be desired. This marker blends in so well with C Street's busy scene that many hunters never it at first glance. I find this quite ironic that most people (being tourists) regularly use this ATM yet they rarely if ever they notice the metal plaque. Living legends, regular locals and up to two million some odd tourists a year are still discovering this hidden metal sign.
- Find this one right on the wall of the Bucket of Blood Saloon across the street from the famous Delta Saloon. A few better locations for this marker would be the front door to the Bucket of Blood, or better yet in the center stone monument of the Delta Parking Lot. These two places are where a good percentage of Virginia City visitors start off their meandering of C Street.
Between 1866 and 1875, a remarkable business thrived directly behind this building. Free-born William A.G. Brown operated his Boston Saloon, serving Virginia City's African Americans. Archaeologists have revealed that Brown offered his customers finely prepared meals with the best cuts of meat. Shortly after Brown sold his business, the great fire of 1875 swept through town and destroyed the building.
There were rarely more than one hundred African Americans living in Virginia City, but they played varied and important roles in the community. Some African Americans pursued work as laborers, porters, and barbers. Others became affluent business owners, and a prominent doctor won widespread respect. By the 1870's, African America children attended integrated schools.
Prejudicial laws and racism placed hurtful restriction on the African Americans of Nevada. Fortunately, a prevalent pro-Union, anti-slavery attitude improved the lives of many African Americans who helped build Virginia City.
Did You Know ...
... The Bucket of Blood Saloon was a featured backdrop on Season 2, Episode 10 of "How the States Got Their Shapes."
Related Links & Markers
Comstock Archaeology: Online Nevada Encyclopedia Black Pioneers: My Nevada 5
Have you been to this marker? Tell us all about it here!