Stories of Old Nevada: Saint Patrick was Italian

Mar 16, 2017 615


During the Comstock mining days, many of the miners who came here to work the mines were Irish, Welsh, Scotch and Cornish. There were countless lively squabbles and skirmishes among the different groups after hours in the local saloons. Nearly all of the successful Comstock mining figures were of Irish descent, including the “Big Four,” John Mackay, James Fair, James C. Flood and William O’Brien.

If I had lived here in those days and made the assertion that Saint Patrick was Italian, I am sure I would have had a fight on my hands. The fact is, the statement that Saint Patrick was Italian has more truth than most people realize. I still don’t encourage anyone to enter an Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day and proclaim that the Patron Saint of Ireland was Italian. You likely would get your mouth washed out with green beer and acquire some knuckle bumps on your head.

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