Friends from left: Dianne, Jan, "Tinhead," Carol and Donna are part of the group that spent summer mornings cleaning up the Cromberg Cemetery. (Not shown are Lorna Rowland and Echo Callahan.) Photo by Kathy Wells

Vacationing friends clean up Cromberg cemetery

By Debra Moore

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Each summer a group of friends reunite at the Golden Coach Trailer Park in Cromberg. The ladies enjoy taking morning and evening walks and their favorite trek includes passing by the Cromberg Cemetery.

“They go down old Cromberg Road and over to the cemetery,” said Kathy Wells, the owner of the Golden Coach as well as the local postmaster. “They decided to clean it up and have been walking over there with their rakes and blowers.”


When they were done they had collected more than 20 bags of needles and debris that were hauled away by the cemetery district.

But they didn’t stop with the grounds; the ladies then cleaned each of the headstones.

“They’ve been working on it over the past two months,” Wells said.

But what prompted these ladies, who mostly come from the Reno/Sparks area, to take on this work during their summer vacation?

Jan Galati is one of the six women who worked on the cemetery. She has been coming to the Golden Coach for seven years and made new friends who they meet up with each summer. In the evening the couples gather for campfires, but during the day the women take twice daily walks and their favorite destination is the 3-mile round trip walk to the Twenty Mile House and the Cromberg cemetery is on the way.

Jan Galati rakes an area in the Cromberg Cemetery. She and her summer friends took it on as a project and plan to return next summer and finish their work. Photo submitted

“Over the years we would walk through it — it tells such a great story with the names and the dates of the people who are buried there,” Galati said.


As for the decision to clean up the cemetery, it began gradually. “It started with just a little cleanup,” Galati said. “We picked up some of the vases and deteriorated Styrofoam that had been there for years.”

Each time they went, they decided to do a little more and eventually began dragging a wagon to remove debris.

Then they got serious and began arriving with rakes, a blower and bags. They have cleaned the pathways, stacked sticks and logs and brushed off headstones. “It looks really nice,” Galati said. While it was almost exclusively women, Galati’s husband “Tinhead” (as the women affectionately call him) did pitch in to help as well.

Labor Day signals the end of their summer vacations, so the remaining work will be tackled next year. The ladies decided to leave a layer of pine needles on the graves to protect them from the winter elements, but they will be targeted next summer.


“We will be back next year,” Galati said. “It made us feel good. We were happy to participated in cleaning up this little cemetery.”

A view of the Cromberg Cemetery. Friends cleared paths and headstones and will return to clean the graves next summer. Photo submitted