In the 1860s, Virginia City was a rough and tumble mining camp, with 24-hour hustle and bustle. Men swarmed the streets and saloons, while miners labored deep within the tunnels underneath the town. The loud, constant clanking metal of stamp mills and jarring explosions echoed throughout the valley and mountains. It was a dangerous place, where rope and cable sometimes broke, sending cages full of miners falling to their deaths. Many an accident or fire in the mines or city left children as orphans.