Although gold had been taken out of the streams around Virginia City in 1850, it didn’t create much excitement in San Francisco immediately.
The gold tailings were worked when there was water in the streams that ran east from Mount Davidson, a peak from the Virginia Range in western Utah Territory. As more prospecting produced other catches of gold tailings, word spread that there might be a bonanza in the hot and forbidding area. A few took the bait and they left after the gold strike from Coloma panned out and they were left high and dry in San Francisco.
In 1857, Henry Comstock lucked upon an area where he and some others found some gold and silver veins that were promising for riches. Henry acquired the area after the Grosh brothers died before filing claims. Henry took over the cabin and land and enlarged his holdings by claiming more land around the cabin after hearing of a gold strike at Gold Hill.
The four miners that found the gold, James Finney, John Bishop, Aleck Henderson and Jack Yount, are given credit for “rediscovering” what became to be named the “Comstock Lode.”
It wasn’t until the spring of 1859 that two miners, Peter O’Riley and Patrick McLaughlin, staked a claim at the head of the canyon by Gold Hill and made a larger discovery of gold and a sticky blue mineral that turned out to be silver.