Cemetery Audio Tour

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The Silver Terrace Cemeteries are a series of terraces dramatically located on a steep, windswept hillside of Virginia City.

As this boomtown became a more permanent settlement, there was a need for a cemetery. Beginning in the 1860s, a wide variety of fraternal, civic and religious groups established burial yards on the hillside. These groups included the Masons, Pacific Coast Pioneers, Knights of Pythias, Virginia City Firemen, Wilson and Brown, Improved Order of Redmen, Roman Catholic, and the city and county.

Because of the historic significance of the cemetery, it qualified for a “Save America’s Treasures” grant through the National Park Service, and ongoing restoration is under way. Nearly every plot is fenced or bordered, a typical practice of the Victorian period. The characteristic features of these burial places reflect the breadth of styles and designs popular during their long history.

Grave markers range in materials from wood to metal to cut stone. The inscriptions on the markers give silent testimony to the social and economic fabric of Virginia City.

Very few of the adults buried in these cemeteries were born in Nevada. The birthplaces noted throughout the grounds provide a glimpse of the scope of immigration and the makeup of the settlement that supported the Comstock mining industry.

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