Death Valley Dazed wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:00 pm
Some of the lessons learned here could apply to some of the history of Death Valley?
I haven’t seen the video, but, I express my opinion.
Virginia City’s culture and life represent an era of society based on and influenced large cities, especially San Francisco and New York. The era was also a time of great immigration to the United States, each national group brought their own customs with them. Saloons had their own social structure, there were saloons that served the social elite and wealthy, there were saloons that catered to ethnic groups, there were saloons down in the red light district where inhibitions were diminished with each shot of watered down rot gut.
At the time of Virginia City’s height, Death Valley was for the most part void and avoided by Caucasians. Death Valley was still wild. The majority of mining was small scale and life crude. Panamint City was the largest development, but day to day living was difficult by Virginia City’s standards. Those who had a need to hide from the law hid in and around Death Valley. Other mining efforts were small and generally stayed at the fringes, such as Chloride City, Lida and Tule Canyon, where their higher elevations were more adaptable to human life.
By the time Death Valley opened up and boomed, it was a new century and cultures had changed. Virginia City was a shadow of its former self. Though still influenced by San Francisco and New York, other factors added to changes in the way things were done. Rhyolite added a new kind of energy and brought a civilization and culture based upon new inventions, such as the automobile and other mechanized equipment, and stock exchange schemes. Exploit and get rich quick methods, though nothing new, were employed. Rhyolite represented a new lifestyle that had elements of the old but was a whole new culture. Sort of like what changes the Baby Boomer generation did to US and later world culture. Utilize many of the same things, but throw in a new energy and excitement with less work and more pleasure. Immigrants often now were of the second and third generation Americans and had adopted more American culture and less of their homeland.
As for saloons, they were the social life of any town. A man, after a day underground went to the saloon for his entertainment and social life. There often was no other choice - no television, radio, friendship or female companionship in his cabin or tent dwelling. Upstanding saloons generally lacked the violence and wonton drunkeness portrayed by Hollywood. However there were social levels among saloons. There were high society drinking parlors. There were low priced saloons, often in the red light district, where life could be dangerous. Socially tiered saloons came to Rhyolite and other Death Valley boomtowns as well. The elite went to the upscale saloons, which had more variety of entertainment; such as social functions and events. The liquor was of the best variety. Saloons where anything went often had everything happening. Liquor was of inferior and dubious quality, sometimes poisoning patrons. Patrons were often law breaking and when under the influence added to their rap sheets.
So, thus my unsolicited input, even if uneducated by watching the video.