GPR PROJECT UPDATE: Due to this winter’s heavy snows, the fieldwork for the GPR project will not be conducted in May/June as originally hoped. It is currently scheduled for the week of August 7, but might again be impacted by weather. This page will be updated with information as it becomes available.
Friends of Midas is responsible for maintenance of the historic Midas Cemetery, which was established in 1908.
Over the years, fire and theft took their toll on the cemetery, and grave markers have been lost. Only three granite markers have survived the years. Cemetery experts and local memories indicate that as many as 40 people may be buried there, but no one is quite sure where all of the graves actually are.
To locate historic graves, Friends of Midas will contract with Nevada’s highly respected Desert Research Institute (DRI) to conduct a survey using drone and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technology. Led by geoarchaeologist Dr. Teresa Wriston, the DRI team expects to conduct field work in Midas in May or June of 2023. Her team will analyze the field work to identify anomalies in the ground that may be burial locations. Utilizing DRI’s interpretation, Friends of Midas will appropriately mark the individual sites. Unfortunately, it is impossible (with existing technology) to identify who may be buried in each site; thus, interpretive signage will be installed at the cemetery’s entrance. It will include the names of known burials.
As the landowner, Elko County will utilize DRI’s work to map out acceptable sites for future inurnments and ensure that the historical sites are not inadvertently disturbed. A process will be established for the burial of ashes and installation of monuments. Thus, the Midas Cemetery will then be both an historic site and provide a continuing service to the community. Interpretive signage will provide context for visitors and also acknowledge the donors who fund the project.
Sponsors are generously underwriting the GPR project. Patricia Cafferata, Esq. has launched the project with a substantial gift to Friends of Midas, and additional funding has been pledged. If you would like to be a sponsor, please contact Dana Bennett at FriendsofMidas@gmail.com
More information will be posted on this page as the project progresses.