St. Mary of the Mountains, Virginia City, NV interiorName of Church St. Mary’s in the Mountains

Address 111 South E Street, Virginia City NV 89440

Phone number (775) 847-9099

Website, although the website is currently down. Visit the parish on Facebook,

Mass times Saturday vigil, 4 p.m. Sunday, 11:30 a.m.

Confessions Saturdays, 3 p.m.

Names of priests Father Philip George, administrator.

Special activities The church has a museum in the basement, staffed on Sundays by a docent volunteer. Ask for a tour of the church; see its many artifacts. There is also a gift shop with religious items.

Music Saturday Mass features an organ; Sunday a small choir.

Fellow parishioners Virginia City has fewer than 1,000 residents today. During the winter, about a third of those attending Mass are tourists, and in the summer about half.

Parking Ample parking around the church.

Cry room No.

Additional observations St. Mary’s in the Mountains is a historic parish of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada, and is a short drive from Lake Tahoe. It was founded in 1862 to serve a once-bustling silver mining community in the area (on top of the Comstock Lode, a rich deposit of silver ore in the eastern slope of Mount Davidson), but as the silver deposits petered out in the 20th century it has become a tourist town with St. Mary’s a prominent feature.

The fictitious Ponderosa Ranch of the 60s television show Bonanza was located near Virginia City; among its most famous residents was writer Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain, who worked as a reporter for the local newspaper. The original church burned down in a fire, and the current church was rebuilt in 1876. It is built in the gothic style. The interior has magnificent art and woodwork, with historic items such as an 1870 baptismal font and old vestments. The church has a beautiful traditional altar and stained glass windows, furnishings imported from France and pews made from California redwoods.