History is found on tombstones of Carson City’s cemeteries
August 10, 2008
Called the father of Carson City, Abe Curry was born in New York in 1815 and spent the last days of his life in 1873 in the city he helped to create.
Buried in Lone Mountain Cemetery, Curry is one of a number of Carson City notables who were laid to rest in Nevada’s Capital City.
Originally seven separate cemeteries, Lone Mountain formed into one cemetery in 1971.
Many of the oldest stones are made of sandstone from Abe Curry’s quarries that were located on the site of what is now the Nevada State Prison on Fifth Street, according to the Carson City’s official Web site.
Lone Mountain Cemetery today encompasses sections for the Masons, Oddfellows, Catholics, two Babyland areas, Hebrew, Grand Army of the Republic, veterans, and a city cemetery section that dates back to the territorial days.
Besides Curry, other notable “tenants” of Lone Mountain are:
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• Jennie Clemens (1855-1864) – Daughter of Orion Clemens, appointed by President Lincoln to serve as secretary in 1861 of the newly created Nevada Territory. Her uncle was Mark Twain.
• Reinhold Sadler (1848-1906) – Ninth Governor of Nevada.
• P.H. Clayton (c. 1819-1874) – Territorial-era attorney, involved in much of the early legislation that affected Nevada.
But Lone Mountain Cemetery’s 40 acres at the corner of Beverly and Roop streets, is not the city’s only cemetery.
Reading the tombstones throughout the city, you get an idea of Carson’s pioneering spirit without ever opening a book.
Other cemeteries in Carson City:
Old Pioneer Cemetery
At the corner of West Fifth and Terrace streets, the Old Pioneer Cemetery was Carson City’s first cemetery.
Sitting on the east side of C Hill, one must look between two homes to notice the large cross that marks the first resting place of Major William Ormsby, one of the earliest residents of Eagle Valley.
Ormsby was killed during the Paiute Indian War near Pyramid Lake in 1860. A plaque on his original tombstone reads:
In May, 1860 Major William Ormsby was killed in an ambush by Paiutes at Pyramid Lake. In June, 1860 William Allen, a scout, was the last of some 40 white men killed in the ensuing war. Both were interred here, but Ormsby was later reburied in N.Y.
Allen, is still interred at the Pioneer site, along with other early settlers of the territory.
The Pioneer Cemetery is on land known from 1861 to 1908 as the Gardner Ranch, Eagle Valley’s largest ranch.
Matthew Culbertson Gardner, owner of the 300-acre ranch and more commonly referred to as M.C., was a central figure in the logging and lumber industry of the day.
One of the few tombstones other than Ormsby’s and Allen’s that still dot the spot reads:
“Sacred to the memory of Mary Lou, daughter of M.C. and H.M. Gardner. Born Monterey, Cal., March the 18, 1860. Died November the 14, 1861.”
Stewart Indian School Cemetery
The Stewart Indian School Cemetery is located on Snyder Avenue and is the final resting place of students, family members, teachers, and others associated with the Stewart Indian School.
Burton Wungnema is buried here. Burton with help from his father, Earnest, built the Wungnema House stone house located in Mills Park. Burton’s wife, Pearl, raised eight children in the home. Burton is from the water clan of the Hopi Nation.
Members of the Wungnema family still reside in Carson City.
Historic Stewart Indian School
Final resting place of famous basket weaver Dot so la lee (Louisa Keyser), the Historic Stewart Indian School Cemetery is located off Snyder Avenue, behind Corpus Christi Catholic Church, and across from the Stewart Indian School complex.
The Empire Cemetery can be accessed from Deer Run Road and sits next to Capital Concrete on the site of what was formerly known as Empire City. It has a historical marker locating the site, which is on a hill east of town. The site parallels Highway 50 East.
Many founders of the community of Empire as well as Carson City are buried there. Most prominent of those buried there is the founder of Empire City himself, Nicholas Ambrose, born Oct. 8, 1824, and died May 22, 1880. His wife, Rebecca, born 1834, died 1912, is also buried there.
Ormsby County Poor Farm
Two Civil War veterans, John Thoroughman and James Johnson, are buried in an isolated plot southeast of the Ormsby County Poor Farm, which was located on the site of present day Fuji Park on Highway 395 South off Old Clear Creek Road. The graves are located on the south side of Clear Creek and were recently enclosed with a black iron fence to mark their site.