I stumbled across Genoa, Nevada by accident.
The tiny town’s on state hwy 206 about an hour east of South Lake Tahoe and was the first settlement in the Nevada Territory back in 1850. It’s beautiful cemetery’s got to be one of the best collections of unique, handmade grave markers I’ve ever seen, all in one place.
Members of the grounds crew stopped me, not once, but three times to ask politely if they could help me find anyone in particular. My picture-taking frenzy made them think maybe I was a reporter.
They have one famous denizen, Snowshoe Thompson. A hero who skied through many seasons of harsh Sierra Nevada snow storms to deliver mail and supplies.
I loved all the ordinary cowboys and pioneers whose families thought enough of them to paint, sculpt, carve and decorate their graves then keep them tended, some for decades.
I gushed praise to the head caretaker when he stopped to ask if he could help me find someone. He was modest about how beautifully the cemetery was tended. He said he’d lived in Genoa his whole life. His ancestors were buried there. He’d met his wife when he was in the service. She was from North Carolina and swore she’d never spend her life in the Carson valley of Nevada. Thirty years later, there they were, and happy too.
If anybody knows of other cemeteries with this kind of folk craftsmanship in the stones, please make a comment. I’d love to see more! I’m sure others would too.