Ott’s Assay Office

Ott’s Assay Office is said to have had $27 million in gold pass through its doors without ever once being held up or robbed. Built sometime prior to the great fire of 1856, this two-story brick building originally housed the City Drugstore. Ott moved in when his original Assay Office, a wooden structure located just next door, burned to the ground in the fire of 1863. James J. Ott, a cousin of John Sutter, holds an important spot in the history of what became the state of Nevada. In 1859, he made the famous assay of the blue muck that was causing the Washoe miners no end of trouble, clogging up their workings, difficult or impossible to throw away. But when the blue muck turned out to be almost pure silver, the news started the fabulous Silver Rush to the Comstock Lode and Virginia City, Washoe County, Nevada Territory.


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130 Main Street,
Nevada City, CA 95959