Big Bonanza Days II
Second Event of the Restoration
Saturday, March 24, 2012

Silverland Inn & Suites

Virginia City, Nevada

For tickets, major sponsorship packages and silent auction donations, please contact
Jim Webster (775) 379-4787
John O'Brien (775) 224-5838

Proceeds benefit the V&T Railroad Reconstruction
Your hosts: Silverland Proprietors Hugh Roy and Cynthia Marshall

Benefit for V&T Railroad Reconstruction

VIRGINIA CITY, Nev., USA — The annual Big Bonanza Days Dinner and Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 24, at the Silverland Inn & Suites in Virginia City.

No-host cocktails and silent auction begin at 5:00 p.m., with dinner and presentations from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Operatic soprano Mary McNeil will perform as Emma Nevada, the legendary "Comstock Nightingale."

Comstock Civil War Re-enactors (and some of their closest personal friends) will again assist in hosting the dinner in period costume and in character.

Business attire is the norm but guests in period attire will also be most welcome.

The Silverland is the major sponsor of the event. Proprietor Hugh Roy Marshall is a longtime amateur Nevada historian.

Last year, Marshall presented the inaugural Big Bonanza Silver Strike Award to the Nevada Historical Society at the University of Nevada-Reno for its 111-year commitment to historical preservation.

This year's honoree will be The Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway and the Robert Gray family. The award is presented to groups and individuals for contributions to the preservation of Nevada history.

The cost is $50 per person, tables of eight are available for $500. Seating is limited and the Silverland Theater is already sixty percent sold out.

"We encourage everyone to make reservations now," event producer Jim Webster said.

Silver Baron James G. Fair
From the Nevada Historical Society Photography Collection

"We are proud to donate proceeds to the V&T Railroad, arguably the Fifth Bonanza King and the only one still alive after more than a century," Webster added.

"The V&T brings Nevada history alive and we want to do all we can to help," Marshall stated.

For tickets, major sponsorships and auction donations, contact Webster at (775) 379-4787, e-mail <> or John O'Brien at (775) 224-5838, e-mail <>

Rooms at the Silverland Inn & Suites are available for $99 plus tax. The hotel will donate $20 from the price of each room to the V&T. Reservations may be made by calling (775) 847-4484.

Silent auction items will include V&T Railroad memorabilia and photos.

Marshall has contributed a mint condition set of Bonanza King medallions bearing the images of legendary silver barons James G. Fair (left), James Flood, John Mackay and William S. O'Brien.

The Marshall Mint has again donated a strike of its Comstock Medallion which was unveiled at last year's event.

Martin Smith of Flag Store Sign and Banner in Sparks has donated a 21-foot flagpole with U.S. and Nevada flags valued at $325. He has also contributed a Nevada gift basket and his Nevada Trivia board game.

More silent auction items are needed.

Marshall and John O'Brien (no relation to the late William S. as far as we know) co-host Tales of Nevada-Past and Present every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on 1270 Fox Radio (KBZZ-am). The program is entirely about Silver State history and may also be heard live onlinevia

Tales of Nevada-Past and Present also appears on regional television every Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on CW Network affiliate KRNS, available through the airwaves on digital 27.2, analog 46 or Charter cable 6. Satellite and AT&T U-Verse subscribers should consult their program guides.

The Big Bonanza Days revival is a frequent topic. Reno native Neal Cobb, an editorial board member of Nevada in the West magazine, is a regular contributor and coordinates the programs.

In the 1960's and 1970's, Bonanza Days was headlined by actors from the classic Bonanza and Wagon Train television series, among many others. The sounds of double jack contests and parades were heard in the venerable mining district. The new Big Bonanza Days may eventually expand to similar areas.

This year's second renewal will feature the state's actual history with fond remembrances of its fictional TV history.

For more information and updates, watch this website.


Big Bonanza Days 2011 Archive



The Storey County Miner's Union marching in the Virginia City Labor Day parade, September 7, 1908.
From the Nevada Historical Society Photography Collection

GUY LOUIS ROCHA: The Many Images of the Comstock Miners Unions
Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, Fall 1996

The tale of the lady in the red dress: The award-winning complete history of Nevada in 500 words

The Fourth Ward School

The Steel Bloodstream Tells No Lies

NevadaWeb's Encyclopedia Nevadaca History Links


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