Old Virginia City Jewish Cemetery

An 1864 listing in the Mercantile guide & Directory for Virginia City, Gold HIll, Silver City & American City noted that “The Eureka (Hebrew) Society have purchased a plot of ground on Cedar Hill, to be used as a cemetery, which they have fenced in and otherwise improved. The Society have displayed a great deal of good taste, and expended a large sum of money in ornamenting their grounds.” The cemetery is isolated in a canyon a half-mile north of the main city cemetery.



“During the height of the Comstock, this cemetery served the burial needs for Virginia City’s thriving Jewish community. The cemetery was established in 1863. As the Comstock mining activity ebbed in the late 1880s…Virginia City’s population began to shrink. As a result, the cemeteries, including the Hebrew cemetery, fell into disrepair and over the next 100 years desert vegetation reclaimed the landscape. Unfortunately, the cemetery has been the subject of anti-Semitic vandalism on several occasions during the last one hundred years. Headstones have been destroyed or defaced and the cemetery generally desecrated.” See more here. Other sources claim that the broken tombstones resulted from cattle grazing within the cemetery before it was surrounded by a fence. If that be the case, however, it is ironic that the sole unbroken tombstone, that of Amelia McCreadie, is one without a Jewish sounding name. Whatever the cause of the desecration in Virginia City, it did not survive as well as the Jewish cemetery in Prague, which survived largely intact after the murderous Nazi era.
 


 

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