Veterans of ghost town to be honored

Pvt. James M. Meredith

Pvt. James M. Meredith

As part of the Nevada 150 Legacy Project to commemorate Nevada’s 150 years of Statehood, the Mineral County Board of Commissioners and the Mineral County Museum have commissioned the erection of a memorial monument to several military veterans who were buried in the cemetery at the ghost town of Aurora.

The graves of these veterans were never marked and the memorial monument will at last properly honor their memories and service to the nation.

The mines of the town of Aurora were discovered in August of 1860 and it was first thought they would rival the mines of the Comstock Lode in richness and durability. The Esmeralda Mining District attracted upwards of 6,000 people to the new town of Aurora, all hoping to profit from its greatness. Aurora became the county seat of Esmeralda County, in the northern region of the county that in 1911 was established as Mineral County.

Although Aurora boomed in great fashion in its peak years of 1860 to 1865, mining disputes, speculations and stock sales soon collapsed the town’s predicted potential. During its many hopeful years thereafter, Aurora sustained a small but steady level of mining and residents, some of whom were military veterans of at least three U. S. wars – War of 1812, Mexican War and the Civil War. Ten of those veterans died while they were residents of the town and were given proper burial by their fellow townspeople in the cemetery north of the town.

Born about 1826 in Pennsylvania, Pvt. James M. Meredith went from California to Aurora in late 1860. During his nearly 22 years of residence in the town he owned a mercantile business, mined and became Postmaster of Aurora after his brother resigned in 1870. During the Civil War years Meredith enlisted in the Hooker Light Infantry that was formed in Aurora, when it was considered to be in Mono County and served until it was found Aurora was in Nevada and the unit was disbanded in 1864.

Mineral County will honor Meredith and other veterans whose eras of military service spanned from the War of 1812 to the Civil War at a dedication of a monument placed at the cemetery at the ghost town of Aurora, southwest of Hawthorne. The veterans being memorialized died at Aurora during between 1861 and 1901 and rest in unmarked graves in the cemetery.

A memorial dedication service honoring these past veterans will take place at the Aurora Cemetery at 1 p.m. on Aug. 9. The service will be assisted by the Gen. William Passmore Carlin Camp No. 25, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Sons of Veterans Reserve, of Gardnerville, who will provide a military ceremony in keeping with the traditions of the time. Aurora is located southwest of Hawthorne in Mineral County and south of Yerington and Wellington in Lyon County.

Attendees are encouraged to car pool and to dress casually with comfortable shoes and to bring their own water or other beverages, chairs and other comfort items consistent with the weather and temperature forecast for the day

For information, visit the Mineral County Museum’s Facebook page or call 775-945-5142, Tuesday through Saturday or email


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