Rose Ann Countryman Still at Rest in Hillside Cemetery

On September 10, 2016, I wrote a HRPS blog ("Hillside Cemetery and Rose Ann Countryman") about a young girl whose remains have been buried in the southern end of the Hillside Cemetery since March 26, 1889. A recent proposal by the cemetery's owners—who do not own the individual burial plots—to dig up remains in that area, move them to other sections of the cemetery in order to sell off the newly-vacated southern end, resulted in a storm of concern and activity. The cemetery is home to many of Reno's early pioneers and other important historical figures and the public let their opinions about the project be known. This led to the passage of Nevada Assembly Bill No. 203 on May 23, 2017. Some of AB 203 added words to Chapter 451 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (the existing laws concerning cemeteries) read: "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including, without limitation, any provision of NRS 451.069 to 451.330, inclusive, a cemetery authority shall not: 1. Order the disinterment and removal of human remains interred in a burial plot that is owned in fee simple by a person other than the cemetery authority; or 2. Sell, mortgage or encumber or require the sale, mortgage or encumbrance of such a burial plot." There is much more to the bill and should be read in its entirety to understand the context of these and additional changes. The bill can be found at this address:

There has been much written about the recently-proposed Hillside Cemetery project, so I thought I would share something that hasn't—an old map from the Washoe County Assessor's Office website (#156, 05/27/1882), which shows the old, historic cemetery in May of 1882. Rose Ann Countryman was buried in the southern end of the cemetery off "Evergreen Avenue." I love the other pleasant street names near Rose Ann's grave site as well, such as Walnut, Poplar and Magnolia avenues. I hope those were the street names in use when the little girl's remains were buried there 128 years ago.

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  • Frances Tryon

    Kim, Thank you so much for this wonderful blog about Rose Ann Countryman. I have been working on the Lot she is buried in and am going to be marking her grave site. It takes long hours to reclaim lots but is well worth the effort. Thanks again.

  • Bill M

    It is interesting how history can be lost, either by tearing down a building, letting Mother Nature reclaim her land, vandalism, or just forgetting what we have. As a member of the Knight of Pythias an one of the caretakers of its cemetery in Reno. We have had its share of vandals, when back in the 50' and 60's before our fence was put up. Now we are in a project to mark all of our graves. We have about 65 more markers to make before we have finished our grave marking project. Seeing the way the Old Hillside Cemetery had been left for despair is a black mark on the neighborhood its in. Reno should protect its history before its lost. Former President Roosevelt had once said, "How we honor our Veterans is how we remember their graves". Lets all honor all graves. and persevere Reno's history. And lets not forget the GAR Cemetery too. thank you.

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