Silver City cemetery could become part of foundation |

Silver City cemetery could become part of foundation

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

The Silver City Cemetery could become the purview of the Comstock Cemetery Foundation.

Lyon County Manager Dennis Stark has sent a letter to the foundation asking them to take control of the historic cemetery, which was damaged last spring by youths doing community service work. The cemetery dates to at least the 1860s.

Century-old grave markers were damaged in April by a work crew from juvenile probation who were told to clean up the area.

In addition to cleaning up trash and pulling weeds, the youths mistakenly took historic wooden grave markers, wooden grave borders and fencing and tossed all of them into piles.

Candace Wheeler, executive director of the Comstock Cemetery Foundation, said she understood the problems the county has with maintaining the historic graveyard.

“I understand where they’re coming from because they are worried about their cemetery,” she said. “My board is going to be open to helping any cemetery on the Comstock.”

Wheeler said many issues needed to be discussed, and Lyon County did not have to give up the land for the foundation to aid the Silver City cemetery.

“It’s not necessary to go to the far extreme of giving us any land,” she said, adding that both the foundation and the county can benefit from joint grant applications and managing the cemetery.

The foundation will discuss the issue at its next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Comstock History Center.

She said the foundation’s board, if they do agree to take responsibility for the Silver City cemetery, would create a position for a Silver City representative. She said each member of the board represents a cemetery or a segment of a cemetery in the Comstock Historic District.

Wheeler said she also wanted to make sure the residents of Silver City are a part of any meetings, and can come and look at the issues.

“They have a cemetery that probably could use a little bit of help,” she said. “We don’t want to own the land, and it makes sense for the cemetery.”

She said her board is not in to splitting hairs over money.

“For us it comes down to what’s the best answer for the cemetery,” she said. “We have found when we’re all together we make better money. It’s possible that is going to be the case for Silver City. We just start writing the resource into our grants. They’d have a representative and that representative would help make decisions.”

She said the possibility of taking over the Silver City cemetery has merit because of Lyon County’s budget problems.

“It’s difficult for a county to get grant funding,” she said. “Private nonprofits tend to do better. And my board will never say no to helping a resource.”

Erich Obermayr, chairman of the Silver City Town Board, said the issue will also be discussed at their next meeting, tentatively set for Jan. 8.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 881-7351.