Virginia City, home of Comstock Lode, the United States’ first major discovery of a silver ore deposit in 1859, is also home to several captivating cemeteries.
Located side by side over many acres within the boundaries of the Virginia City National Historic Landmark, the cemeteries memorialize the diverse laborers who made Virginia City a boom town. Just as society at the time was divided ethnically, religiously and professionally, the cemeteries are likewise divided.
The cemeteries were once a collection of well kept Victorian parks, an oasis of green in a harsh desert. Currently erosion gullies, overgrowth and water run-off are all causing damage to the cemeteries, as well as vandalism, theft and counter productive restoration efforts. Some credit these 19th-century cemeteries to be the predecessors to America’s national parks, though only glimpses of their former glory can be seen.
Know Before You Go
From Reno on US Highway 395 south to Nevada 341 east. The cemeteries will be visible from the north end of town. Take first left and another left into the city.