When Nevada was admitted to the Union in 1864, Carson City was already a growing, prosperous community. The Pioneer Cemetery (or Walsh Cemetery) located on the hillside at the west end of Fifth Street was already being used for burials. Major William Ormsby, after whom Ormsby County was named, was originally buried here after dying in the Pyramid Lake War in 1860s. He was later reburied in New York. His scout, William S. Allen, is still interred at the Pioneer site, along with other early settlers of the territory.
The Pioneer and Lone Mountain Cemetery (aka Wright Cemetery) both contain markers dating as far back as the early 1860s. Many of the individuals buried at the hillside cemetery were moved to Lone Mountain Cemetery in the mid-1860s. Despite many of the individuals being reinterred at Lone Mountain, the little Pioneer graveyard was still patronized for many years, evidenced by one of the few remaining markers bearing the date of 1871.
According to available records, there were originally seven separate cemeteries which were formed into one cemetery known as Lone Mountain in 1971. In 1979 the pillars at the entrance to the Cemetery were moved 500 feet east of their original location when Roop Street was expanded. Roop Street originally ran directly to the Civil War monument on the far north end of the cemetery grounds.
Many of the oldest stones are made of sandstone from Abe Curry's quarries which were located on the site of what is now the Nevada State Prison on Fifth Street.
Lone Mountain Cemetery today encompasses sections for the Masons, Oddfellows, Catholics, two Babyland areas, Hebrew, Grand Army of the Republic, veterans, and a city cemetery section which dates back to the territorial days. The forty-acre site contains memorials to Carson City pioneers of every denomination, ethnic background, and economic or social standing. Together they represent a unique cross-section of early-day Nevada.
Many of the plots in Lone Mountain Cemetery reveal names of once, and still prominent Nevada families. A walk or drive through Carson City reflects names now familiar in other contexts: Curry, Long, Musser, Bath Streets, the Ormsby House, the mansions of Yerington, Bath, Curry, and Rinckel are just a few whose origins lie buried in Lone Mountain Cemetery. On the other hand, many gravesites at Lone Mountain and the other cemeteries in Carson City are unmarked. In some cases, the gravestones are broken or missing. The name of a person may be known through burial records, but the specific site is not. In other situations, particularly burials at public expense, a marker never existed. The known and unknown, the famous and forgotten, all now lie in our historic cemeteries, along with their stories that are quickly fading from memory with the passage of time. That is the reason for this history, to remember, to educate, and to preserve our past for the future.