By Willie Puchert
Irish organizations from both the ends of Nevada area joined together in August to preserve the Hillside Cemetery in Reno where over 30 Irish families are buried.
The Southern Nevada Sons and Daughters of Erin traveled to Reno over the third weekend of August to join their Northern Nevada counterparts to improve the grounds at Hillside Cemetery. The group of nearly 20 spent the morning hours of that Aug. 24 clearing brush and spreading gravel at various burial plots.
When the work was concluded, the Las Vegas group presented the Reno group with a check for $1,000 to go towards buying supplies and gravel for ongoing work at the cemetery.
The Reno group received a $1,000 grant from the City of Reno for restoration efforts towards the cemetery earlier this year.
Hillside is a historic cemetery located just a few blocks west of the University of Nevada. It was established in 1875 and sits on a hill overlooking downtown Reno. Some of the graves bear the namesake of well-known Reno Streets such as Mayberry Street and Plumb Lane.
The cemetery also includes the graves of Native Americans, Civil War veterans and various European immigrants.
Frances Tryon established the Hillside Cemetery Foundation non-profit organization five years ago after she and other local historians spent much of the past decade fighting the attempts from graves being relocated and the cemetery being developed into apartments. For years, the cemetery had been neglected and vandalized presumably because of its close proximity to fraternity and sorority houses in the area
Hillside Cemetery Foundation, 775-440-1495, http://hcpfoundation.squarespace.com
William Puchert is the President of the Northern Nevada Chapter of the Sons & Daughters of Erin Irish heritage group.