Lord Rick Rowe | Create Your Badge






On the hillside beyond Virginia City overshadowed by Mount Davidson lays a burial ground that was formed in the early 1860's serving all the miners in the Comstock Lode called today Silver Terrace Cemeteries situated in the foothills of the mysterious Flowery Mountains. When the miners came to the region their were many civic, fraternal and religious groups who at the time segregated themselves from one another. Thus the Masonic, Pacific Coast Pioneers, Order Of Redmen, Order Of Oddfellows, St. Marys Roman Catholic, Firemen's, Storey County, Knights Of Pythias, Wilson and Brown and St Mary's Catholic Cemeteries were born. Although a few old timers in Virginia City told me that their may be 23 burial grounds located on these hills in total despite that signs state their is only 11.

Every one of the cemeteries found here is separated by various boundaries and fencing. Some of the fencing is down, deplorable or missing so it kind of makes it hard to decide where one cemetery ends and the next one begins. Wood and wrought iron fencing was often used during the Victorian era in some of the earliest western cemeteries. Since its hard to always know which graves belonged to which cemeteries if I had made any error in my galleries please except my sincere apologies I am afterall trying my best to conduct research here. Silver Terrace Cemetery today really is one giant burial ground but back in the day segregation was common. Today its a bit more difficult to see because one graveyard blends into the next.

The silver terrace cemeteries are rumored to be the most beautiful cemeteries in the state of NV. Nevada is a growing state and over the years this cemetery has gotten quite a reputation for its beauty along with the history that surrounds boot hill as Julia Bulette's killer was hung here. These cemeteries receive allot of foot traffic such as elderly people going for strolls, ghost hunting groups and avid historians who visit the area just to read the extraordinary epitaphs. The cemeteries are reverting back to what they were originally used for which is a park that children can play and couples can relax under a tree on a blanket together. It really is a jewel that is a must visit if your going to visit this boom town and one of my favorite cemeteries in the Silver State. The first time I laid my eyes on this hilly graveyard was back in 2011 I just had moved up to the area and I was in awe since then I visit here time to time therefore this is an ongoing project and ill continue to add or make improvements to it so others can benefit from our research.

The cemetery along with Virginia City is today a national historic landmark as the area encompasses 15,000 acres which today serves as a commemoration to one of greatest silver booms in the world. Generally most of the gravestones here are of miners and there families . Some of those miners died in these mines while others helped shaped early Virginia City and some even fought fires. Very few of the people buried here are not even from NV while many graves date back prior to the early 1900's. Your going to find that allot of the interments are of people who came from all over the world to strike it rich here. While their are tales of success, wealth and power most of the people found buried here had lives that ended in tragedy. An example would be those who died from epidemics and some who died in the great fire of 1875 which burned the city to the ground. The gravestones were crafted by local Masons and other fraternal groups with stone that was quarried locally while wood fencing was carved from local trees.

 In the 1840's it was the Mormons who passed through the area some found gold up along the Carson River while that same party also discovered it at the bottom of Mount Davidson which overshadows the entire city today. However, the Mormons never settled anywhere for to long and generally would move onto to Utah which at one time stretched all the way into California before some of the first western states could ever be formed. In 1857 the Grosch brothers had a cabin not to far from the cemetery discovering rich silver here. Sadly one brother died never making it out the other one froze to death up in Olympic aka Squaw Valley California. Despite their deaths men like Comstock took the prize and by 1859 the first streets were laid out here. For nearly two years all that stood around the cemetery were shanties, dugouts, tents and shacks. By 1861 more permanent brick and wood buildings lined Main Street.  Many prominent men came to the area to operate rich silver mines such the Belcher  Mine,  Gold & Curry Mine where its owner lived at the haunting historic Mackay Mansion, Savage Mine & Comstock Gold Mill and Chollar Mine.

At one time back in the day Virginia City was an industrial powerhouse you couldn't get away from the mines. However the locals if they wanted to get away could visit the cemeteries as they provided a place of solitude and gardens for those who wished to enjoy this place as more then just a burial ground. It sort of served as a local park for the residents where children could go run off and play. When you think about it in a way its quite morbid to say hey kid go to the cemetery and play lol. But it was safer then sending the children to go and play around the many mines that surround this location. Today if you hike around this cemetery you will see dump piles as a matter in fact I found a mine shaft in the cemetery. When miners died in local mines they were hundreds of feet away from this graveyard.

At one time this garden-like atmosphere was a place where trees grew, flowers like roses and morning glories, purple clovers and gravel walkways. Almost every grave was surrounded by white picket fences or elaborate wrought iron fencing. Bushes grew everywhere and the view from Boothill was a great Virginia City lookout point. It no longer looks the same unfortunately and that might be attributed to the fact that years of vandalism, storms, hotter temperatures etc have all played a factor. It still is very beautiful here but one must wonder what this hillside looked like in the 1800's at the height of the silver boom. Despite the beauty found here on the edge of the city a place called boot hill has a much darker history as prior to the cemeteries actual growth Virginia Cities MOST notorious criminals were brought here to be lynched for their crimes who were jailed at the Old Storey County Courthouse & Jail! It also contains many interments who died just up the road at the old
St. Mary's Luoise Hospital. Most of the people that are interred here had funerals held at St. Mary's In The Moutains Church.  In a sense when you do research here your going to find that most of the people buried here had connections to the mines, saloons, mills, hotels, churches etc in life and death!

By the later 1990's the boundaries that separated various parts of the cemetery were no longer visible. Much of the fencing surrounding the plots was either bent, broken or missing. Allot of the graves suffered from theft, vandals or just the elements. The beautiful roses, morning glories and blooming bushes all gone. Most of the graves are overgrown by sage bush, thistles, weeds, desert grass and rabbit brush. Its a sad site to see it almost makes you feel sick to your stomach to think how disrespected these miners graves are its just not right. These miners lives were cut short making ends meat the silver boom led to America's growth. At one time years ago ATV's, Horseback Riders and motorcycles would drive right over the graves knocking them over without anyone having a care in the world. I read they want to restore this location but with a quarter million dollar goal it make take years before history buffs such as ourselves see any changes to the landscape. In the past five I have seen very few restorations so we all must do our part and keep this place pristine!

At one time you had a very large cultural diversity buried within the cemeteries all the way from Irish, Chinese, Mexicans, Welsh, Germans, Italians etc etc all working in the mines together. Sadly all of it is disappearing some of those graves are broke, unmarked, illegible, missing and we no longer no who these heroes are of the Comstock Lode. It took a hero to work in those mines temperatures reached 135 degrees easily in the summer and allot of these men died to support their families sometimes leaving behind orphans. That to me is noble when you die trying to take care of your family so please honor the brave pioneers buried on this hill. Some of these historic cemeteries are the last standing survivors of the Comstock whose laborers who industrialized mining in what it is today. Then you also have a section just for the prostitutes who entertained the miners and another area for children who more then likely fell to sickness. It may just be one of the great last burial grounds of the American West which is why this is such an amazing location.

Whether the public realized or not all our metals come from the earth due to the blood, sweat and tears of another mans hard work. Virginia City was home to some of the deepest mines in the world with of them experiencing fires, flooding, cage accidents, dead air and geothermal pockets. With that being said mining was dangerous men died regularly sad to say and that was one of the reasons behind the growth of this cemetery. The cities in America were built from the Comstock not many people realize how relevant the mines were during the towns hey day. I consider myself a very lucky individual to have the opportunity to tour such mines, ghost towns and industrial towns that once made America what it is today. Its an honor and we are so happy to present our work to the public so others can enjoy this historic cemetery the same way we did.

Also let me make note that the cemetery is rumored to be haunted of course why wouldn't it be you look at some of the deplorable graves and think if I was a spirit id be haunting my grave too if it was desecrated. The first known haunting is a set of ghost lights often seen in the cemetery we may have finally captured one of these willow wisp make sure you check out our second investigation to see that evidence. I cannot say that every single light seen in the cemetery are ghost lights afterall nobody is allowed here at night unless you get special permission therefore some lights seen on boot hill may just be peoples flashlights. The second haunting is that of an old groundskeeper who was said to have gassed several people in one of the cemeteries vaults to death. Then you have other rumors about glowing tombstones while others are said some move on their own. Being that we are based fairly close to this region it is something our society will look into further but in the time being enjoy the photos taken so far on our historic explorations here and our investigations.

Although there are multiple cemeteries within Silver Terrace I decided to divide them up into categories as every burial ground is just a tad bit different based on religion, status, wealth, culture etc.  I am not done with this project we hope to do one or two more investigations in the future here to complete the project. As much as I enjoy proving that this location is haunted I have a greater love for the history found throughout the boot hill area. We are still researching the area and aside from the Silver Terrace Cemeteries their are other cemeteries in the region just like the Gold Hill Catholic, Gold Hill Masonic and Silver City Pioneer Cemeteries. We want to make sure that our society explores and investigates all of these places thoroughly so that you can enjoy these beautiful gravesites that go in direct correlation with the history of the Comstock Lode. Two miles away from here is the Virginia City Hebrew Cemetery which still today remains is isolation in comparison to the Silver Terrace Cemeteries and gets less exposure while others tend to confuse the two.
Copyright By
Lord Rick aka AngelOfThyNight
Author, Paranormal Investigator, Producer and Talk Show Host



The audio that I recorded from our first investigation here was stolen you can read about it by clicking the above banner.

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