Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object ID 1000.122.07
Title From the Comstock Lode to Chevy Chase
Object Name Exhibit
Date 1998
Creator Eleanor Ford
Description From the Comstock Lode to Chevy Chase (p. 7 of 7: see 1000.122.01-06)
May 20, 1998
For Ed Heller's slide lecture for Chevy Chase Historical Society

Chronology and attached articles:

Chronology of Comstock related events and the life of Francis Newlands

1848: F.G.N. born in Natchez, Miss., 4th of 5 children. Family moves to Quincy, Ill.
1849: Gold rush. Sharon moves to San Francisco, Mills to Sacramento
1850: Stewart moves to Nevada City
1851: F.G.N.'s father, a doctor, dies. Hard times.
1854: Ralston moves to San Francisco
1855: F.G.N.'s mother remarries
1856: First Comstock Lode strike - Ophir Mine
1857: F.G.N.'s family moves to Chicago
1859: First Gold Hill (Comstock) strikes; beginning of Virginia City
1861: Virginia City incorporated; Nevada becomes a territory, its form defined by Stewart, Carson City its capital
1862: Comstock surface mining worked out
1863: F.G.N.'s family moves to Washington, D.C.
1864: Ralston and Mills start Bank of California; Sharon put in charge of bank's Virginia City branch, supplying capital for expensive deep mining, forging monopoly for bank of milling and transport. Stewart elected U.S. Senator (to 1875), sponsors Nevada's statehood.
1864: F.G.N. enters Yale, aged 16
1866: F.G.N.'s stepfather dies. F.G.N. has to leave Yale in mid junior year. Finds a job in the Washington, D.C. post office. Attends Columbia College Law School at night (now G.W.U.)
1867: Sharon consolidates bank holdings at Virginia City into Union Mill & Mining Co.
1868: Sharon starts Virginia & Truckee Railroad
1869: F.G.N. passes Washington, D.C. bar
1870: Virginia & Truckee R.R. extended to Reno
1870: F.G.N. borrows money to move to San Francisco. Opens law office with partners. Sharon a client, organizing Spring Valley Water Co.
1872: Ralston succeeds Mills as President of Bank of Cal
1872: Clara Sharon returns from 4 years in Europe, makes her debut. F.G.N. attentive.
1873: F.G.N. and Clara engaged. F.G.N. still paying college debts.
1874: The Big Bonanza
1874: F.G.N. and Clara marry. F.G.N. has brought his mother, 2 sisters and a brother to San Francisco. F.G.N. continues and expands his law practice.
1875: Collapse of Bank of California. Ralston drowns. Sharon and Mills rescue bank; Mills again president. Sharon takes over Ralston's holdings. Palace Hotel opens; fire at Virginia City
1876: Sharon elected U.S. Senator from Nevada (to 1881), succeeding Stewart. Embarks on building spree in San Francisco
1878: Comstock Lode begins long, slow decline
1882: Clara and newborn son die, leaving F.G.N. with three daughters
1885: Sharon dies at palace Hotel
1885: F.G.N. inherits, with his daughters, his wife's one third share of Sharon's estate, and is executor.
1886: F.G.N. moves east. Travels. Organizes the Rock Creek Railroad in Washington, D.C.
1888: F.G.N. begins buying land for Connecticut Avenue and Chevy Chase

Attached Articles:

Brooke, James. "Less to Celebrate at This Gold Rush Anniversary." The New York Times. March 22, 1998.

Chevy Chase Historical Society. Newsletter. Spring 1998.

Rickard, T.A. "The Comstock Lode" A History of American Mining. 1st ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1932: 82-114.

Image from _Virginia City and the Silver Region of the Comstock Lode_ by Douglas McDonald (1989.31.03)