New Wood Carving Goes in Place of Diseased Tree

Virginia City unveiled a statue honoring a woman with a unique place in Comstock history.

“True, she was a woman of easy virtue. Yet hundreds in this city have had cause to bless her name for her many acts of kindness and charity. That woman probably had more real, warm friends in this community than any other,” the City Attorney of Virginia City, eulogy for Julia Bulette.

Bulette was a prostitute who worked in Virginia City in the mid-19th century, but she was found brutally murdered on Sun., Jan. 20, 1867, and became a folk hero after her death. John Millain was arrested, charged with the crime, and hanged on Fri., Apr. 24, 1868.

Alexia Sober, the owner of the Canvas Cafe at C Street and Sutton, where the statue is on display, approached chainsaw artist Paul Buelna about creating the figure.

“Once I get kind of a picture of what we are going to do, then I will look at other things like how a prostitute in 1867 would have dressed, what she would have looked like, what her hairstyle would be like,” sculptor Paul Buelna told KTVN.

Buelna carved the statue from a tree on Sober’s cafe property. The tree, listed as over a century old, was no longer thriving, and its felling was already being planned for safety reasons.


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