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Adolph Sutro, a German immigrant, founded a town, which he named after himself, downriver from Dayton. He designed Sutro City as the home base for his tunnel project, which was to provide drainage and access to the Comstock mines three miles away. After overcoming political opposition, Sutro began construction on the project in 1869 and completed it in 1878. He planned that the tunnel would make it economically advantageous to move all the ore to mills that he would own. He also hoped that miners would prefer to use the tunnel for transportation to the mines, avoiding the more dangerous descent down Virginia City shafts. Sutro City would thus become home to thousands, transforming it into the most important economic and industrial center in the area. By the time the tunnel was completed, however, the Comstock mines had played out, and the town of Sutro was destined to house no more than a few dozen people. Recognizing early on that his plans would not be successful, Sutro sold his stock for a profit shortly before completion of the tunnel and moved to San Francisco, where he became mayor and established Golden Gate Park and the Sutro Baths.

Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta

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