One local woman is making sure all those who rest in Lone Mountain Cemetery won’t be forgotten.
Three years ago, Melinda Cash volunteered to take photographs of some graves for a website, when she realized a large number of people who were buried in the Carson City cemetery didn’t have headstones to mark their final resting place.
“I was naive, but it never occurred to me that there were people with no headstones,” the Mound House woman said. “I find that so sad.”
For the past three years, Cash has walked the entire cemetery, row by row, documenting every grave site in the cemetery to see which are missing headstones. She predicts there are hundreds.
“I can’t stand the fact that there are places that look like it’s just grass, but really there are three people buried under there and no one knows,” Cash said.
Cash has decided to take it upon herself to put a headstone on every grave. Because even the cheapest headstones cost nearly $150 each, she has been trying to raise money to put a headstone on every grave that’s missing one.
“My goal is to raise every dime to complete it, I can’t do it all by myself,” Cash said. “And nothing that I raise is going to me, it is all going towards the headstones, there’s so much out here that needs to be done.”
The responsibility of paying for a headstone is the family’s, however a number of factors can impact whether a grave gets a headstone or not. Cash said one of the saddest stories she discovered was a husband and wife who were buried next to each other. The husband died before his wife, so she was able to purchase a gravestone for him, but when she died no one had made the same provisions for the wife. Today, the plot has one grave on it, that’s decorated in marble for the husband, while next to him, there’s just a patch of plain dirt.
“That is what is sad, no one even knows that she is here, but she is,” Cash said.
Another problem Cash faces are graves that are extremely old. Because the cemetery has been around so long, there are graves that still have wooden headstones on them from the pioneer times, and many of the names have been lost. For some plots without headstones, there are no records for certain graves, and Cash said unfortunately there may never be.
However, Cash said she does this because she finds the history and stories she uncovers from this fascinating.
“That and I’m retired, what else am I going to do?” Cash said.
Cash is hoping to raise about $300,000 to try and provide each grave with at least a simple headstone. She’s raising the money through GoFundMe.com, and anyone wishing to donate should visit gofundme.com/rrp9ns.
Anyone wishing to donate can also contact Melinda Cash at 775-241-2198 or at email@example.com.
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