Virginia City

The Mark Twain Trail Adventure and Education Visitor’s Center at Virginia City will be located on the Main Street which is C Street >

Virginia City, Nevada

Virginia City, Nevada is where then Samuel Clemens made a name for himself as a reporter working for the Territorial Enterprise.

Virginia City, Nevada

From Wikipedia page on Mark Twain in Nevada:

“In February 1862, Samuel Clemens began to send occasional letters to the major paper in the Nevada Territory, the Virginia City Daily Territorial Enterprise.  By July, he was asking Orion if he could assist him in finding a job as a correspondent  In the fall, he was offered $25 per week to become the city editor of the Enterprise.  The offer to be an editor was more than he had anticipated, and he worried about his “inexperience and consequent unfitness for the position.”  Having been self-sufficient since he was 13 and worrying about falling into debt, Clemens accepted the job despite his worries.

The Territorial Enterprise was run by its founding editor Joseph T. Goodman who mentored Clemens in his new role as editor.  Goodman and his staff had enjoyed Clemens’s letters that he had signed as “Josh”, especially one that satirized the oratory of the territory’s chief justice.  It also may have seemed advantageous to employ someone with connections to the government.  Clemens began covering “vice, the mines, ghost stories, social functions, and other intrigues (sometimes imaginary) in his local columns”  for the Enterprise. By December 1862, he was reporting on the territorial legislature and courts in Carson City.

One of his more popular pieces in 1862 was the unsigned “Petrified Man” in which Clemens claimed that a petrified man who had lived “close about a century ago” had been found “south of Gravelly Ford.”  Historian Bruce Michelson concludes Twain used this hoax to both ridicule the local politician Sewall and mock a public who through gullibility were too quick to accept a mass of petrification reports.  The humorous story quickly was picked up by other newspapers and spread east.

In a letter dated February 3, 1863 to the Territorial Enterprise from Carson City, complaining about a lavish party that kept him “awake for forty-eight hours” Clemens signed his work “yours dreamily, MARK TWAIN”, the first use of the name under which he would become famous.  In May–June 1863, Twain made his first visit to San Francisco, travelling with Clement Rice – eating and drinking throughout the city and making important literary connections.  He visited again, alone, in September. During this time, Twain often got his letters re-published in papers throughout the region, and near the end of 1863, began contributing to The Golden Era, a San Francisco literary journal.”