In Roughing It, Mark Twain wrote that "in order to know a community, one must observe the style of its funerals and know what manner of men they bury with most ceremony." Many of Nevada's most prominent pioneers can be found by visiting the historic cemeteries of Carson City and Carson Valley. A visit to the final resting sites of the pioneers of the Silver State, some dating from the 1850s, will readily provide the confirmation of Twain's statement. Those buried with "the most ceremony" include governors, stagecoach drivers, business owners, soldiers, desperados, and lawmen. Headstones with biographical epitaphs and symbolic expressions of grief are often the only record that still exists to provide a glimpse into a community's history or the lives of the individuals who forged Nevada from the sagebrush. Many locations are readily accessible to visit, while others are not. The sites presented here provide an overview of the state's pioneers and their role in the history of Nevada.
Author Bio: Author Cindy Southerland, a cemetery historian and archivist, has been researching Nevada's historic cemeteries for more than 25 years. She considers the sites as outdoor museums. Using historic and contemporary photographs, the author illustrates how the stories the tombstones reveal are significant to the history of the state.
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