If you are interested in saving an historic cemetery, you can help with just a short letter sent in the next couple of days. All comments must be received by the State by Friday, November 21st at the address below. You do not need to live in Nevada to help since patients were from States all over the country and so are their families. The State of Nevada Division of Mental Health has a Proposed Regulation change which, if approved, will allow the hospital administrator to order, at his discretion, the exhumation and cremation of everyone in the cemetery at the Old Insane Asylum in Sparks, listed on Find a Grave as Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Cemetery. This cemetery includes the graves of U.S. Military Veterans, Native Americans, those of the Jewish faith and other religions which did not allow cremation at the time of the burials.
A group of families and interested citizens has formed a 501(c)(3) corporation called Friends of Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services Cemetery for the purpose of preserving and restoring this cemetery. As of a notice sent out last week, the State would prefer not to take this course of action. Please visit our website for more information about the horrible history of this cemetery: http://friendsofnorthernnevadaadultmentalhealthservicescemet...
NOTICE OF HEARING: November 26, 2008, 3:00 pm, Sierra Regional Center, 605 South 21st St., Sparks, NV 8941
The State of Nevada Dept. of Mental Health and Developmental Services is proposing a change in the Nevada Administrative Code which will give sole power over this cemetery to one person, the Administrator of the Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services.
Cremation would be the only option for all grave relocations proposed by the State. Within this proposal it states families could remove the remains at their own expense, but the State does not know where any of the individuals are even buried so this is not an option. Families cannot all be found at this time and those who have were not mailed invitations to attend this hearing. Many families live out of state and will not see a notice in the local Reno paper or posted in a State building or library.
Cremation is prohibited by many religions - particularly the Jewish faith. Terms used within this proposed Proposed Regulation change include INCINERATION, INTERNMENT, etc. which is very offensive to anyone of Jewish ancestry. Cremation is not the preferred form of burial for many other religions, including Catholics. Also, if these remains are cremated, all DNA will be destroyed and there will be no way to identify the remains for families as they come forward in the future.
This proposal by the State was done without consulting our group, which is made up of actual family and friends of those in this cemetery.
PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND THIS HEARING OR MAKE A WRITTEN COMMENT PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 21st. COMMENTS SHOULD BE MAILED TO:
Dr. Harold Cook
Mental Health and Developmental Services
4126 Technology Way, Suite 201
Carson City, NV 89706
If you wish to fax a comment regarding this proposed action by the State, the number for the Div. of Mental Health is 775-684-5964.
Thank you to all who will help us save this historic cemetery. Our goal is to encourage the State to set aside this land "for cemetery purposes only" to protect it from development