The W. M. Keck Museum
Visit Nevada's 2nd Oldest Museum
Located in the Mackay School of Mines Building at the University of Nevada, Reno, the W. M. Keck Earth Science & Mineral Engineering Museum houses an outstanding collection of minerals, ores, fossil specimens and photographs, in addition to mining related relics.
John W. Mackay was born in Dublin, Ireland on November 28,1831. His family immigrated to New York when John was nine, In 1851, at the age of eighteen, Mackay sailed to California to seek his fortune as a gold miner.
In 1860, after little luck in California he headed for the hills around Virginia City, where he had heard of the discovery of new deposits.
In 1869, after moderate success as a miner, he was able to form a partnership with James G. Fair, James C. Flood, and William S. O'Brien.
This partnership was known as the Bonanza Firm, developers of the famous Comstock Lode. In 1873, Mackay struck one of the richest veins in history, the Big Bonanza, which produced more than $180 million in ore in just over four years.
An impressive collection of ore and mineral specimens are on display at the W.M. Keck Museum
View the fossilized remains of a 3 million year old mastodon that was found in northern Nevada.