Western Missionary Museum

Project To Restore the Church of St. Paul the Prospector

     Virginia City, Nevada was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.  As a contributing property, the building of St. Paul the Prospector has been recognized as possessing historical significance and architectural qualities that are vital to the district's national importance.  Within these historic walls, the Western Missionary Museum will install a multi-cultural reconstruction of the contribution made by people of faith, who came west, braving the rugged terrains and extremes of weather, to make a new life for their families.  We will demonstrate their role in making this godforsaken mining outpost into a bustling metropolis that it became.  But after 140 years in the extreme weather of the Mountain West, this important building is at risk of being lost.  To ensure the nation does not lose this jewel in the mountains, we will restore the building and ensure its preservation for future generations.

     An experienced team of experts has devised a multi-phased plan to save this important property and to install a professionally curated and accredited museum.  We will then create a tea shop and gift store, to generate an ongoing income stream which will maintain the building and museum well into the future.


Preconstruction Phase:  Structural reports, architectural & engineering plans, construction drawings and sustainability plannings

Construction Phase 1:  Replace roof and electrical systems, repair and re-glaze windows, stabilize and protect entire structure.

Construction Phase 2:  Refurbish interior, insulate, replace heating/air conditioning, make ADA accessible, repair balcony and bell tower.

Sustainability Phase:  Install museum exhibits & archives, build kitchens, tea-room and high-quality gift store.  We anticipate that over 100,000 visitors per year will help maintain our home!


     Restoring a historic building is a labor of love and faith, which requires a considerable sum of money if it is to be done properly.  Our foundations are strong and secure, but the building itself needs extensive restoration.  Wooden walls exposed to almost a century and a half of sun, snow and wind are dried out, rotted away and warped.  They can barely support the window sets, which are at risk of falling (and sometime do in high winds!).  Roof beams are unstable , putting walls at risk.  Heat and electrical systems are archaic and might set the tinder-dry building aflame.  We must act now, or lose this historic and beautiful building for ever.  The budget for this project is @2.2 million.  This sum will restore the entire building, install the museum, tea-room and gift shop, and establish a maintenance fund to avoid future deterioration.

     Your financial contribution will demonstrate your support of preserving St. Paul's, for future generations.


"In the tradition of the great churches of Europe, the building will be a historic and cultural asset to the entire community, celebrating all faiths and cultures.  To support the daring statement, the museum will document and illustrate the stories of the people who worshiped and lived here -the men and women who brought a more civilized way of life to this wild land."

The Right Reverend Dan Edwards, 10th Bishop of Nevada

"If you, like me, care about the history of our state, the preservation of historically noteworthy buildings, and the culture of our nation, I urge you to join me in supporting this vital project to save St. Paul's church and establish the Western Missionary Museum."

Richard Bryan, Former Governor and U.S. Senator for Nevada


We are well on our way to our goal for Phase 1, with good prospects for Phases 2 and 3, but we cannot delay.  One more winter might be too late for St. Paul's.  

Please contact us TODAY to donate:

St. Paul the Prospector

PO Box 13

Virginia City, NV 89440