RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

"May Their Souls Rest In Peace:" The Cemeteries of Virginia City

A view toward town from the Masonic Cemetery


Virginia City's historic cemeteries are often referred to as "Boot Hill," but the term does not apply. Boot Hill was a generic term for the graveyards where gamblers, prostitutes and murderers were buried. Virginia City's cemeteries, of which there were once as many as fifteen, are not the resting places of the rich and famous, either. A visit quickly reveals the truth, that ordinary people rest here, the shopkeepers, bartenders, miners and their families.

One of many Irish names on headstones in the Catholic Cemetery

A marble headstone in the Odd Fellows Cemetery

A mining family: note the tools in the upper left corner of the marker, and the gold pan in the lower right

Simple wooden markers stand beside those of marble and granite, preserved by the arid climate

A well-preserved wooden marker dating from 1884 in the Exempt Firemen Cemetery

November, 1998
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