The Werrin Building stands on the south end of Virginia City’s main street and dates to 1873. John Werrin was a grocer from Cornwall, and his business stood on the edge of what was a Cornish neighborhood. While the main floor provided space for his business, the upper story was a lodging house. Virginia City’s declining prosperity during the 1880s caused the boarding house to be abandoned while the main floor saw various uses over the subsequent decades.
Apartments consisted of one or two rooms. Some had windows while others did not. There is considerable variation in wallpapering, so presumably each tenant could decorate according to taste. Access to a communal privy in the back was down the central hallway.
Today the main floor serves as home for the popular restaurant “Café del Rio,” but the second-story lodging house remains largely as it was in the 1880s. Original room configurations, paint, and wall paper survive to convey the feeling of a domestic space in the nineteenth-century. (Text by Ronald M. James, from Online Nevada Encyclopedia gallery, where additional photographs may be viewed.)
Click here to see the location in Google Maps.