The Austin Cemetery is located about a mile northwest of the built-up part of town on the north side of the lower end of Pony Canyon at an elevation of just over 6,200 feet above sea level. US Highway 50 runs through the cemetery east to west and the junction of US 50 and Nevada Highway 305 is located a short distance to the east. The cemetery is actually comprised of five cemeteries, (listed east to west): the Masonic and Odd Fellows sections on the north side of US 50 and the Calvary (Catholic) and Citizens cemeteries on the south side of US 50. A fifth cemetery, the Indian cemetery, is located west of the Citizen’s section.
The cemetery is distinguished by the range of gravemarker types, materials, and styles represented within it. Finely sculpted white marble monuments, often incorporating crosses, are concentrated in the Calvary section and are associated primarily with the graves of Irish and other Catholic Austinites. A few fieldstone markers have been observed in the various sections; many more are known to have existed in the past. Many family and individual plots are enclosed by fences of ornamental cast-iron manufactured outside the state, local wrought-iron, and wood palings. Approximately 125 metal fence enclosures and nearly twenty wood paling enclosures survive, mostly in the Calvary section. Approximately thirty-five wooden headboards and footboards have been counted, the deteriorated remnants of what were likely many more historically. Markers fashioned from concrete, metal, and other materials are found, and grave goods are present. The majority of marked burials date to the period of significance. There are probably many burials that are no longer marked, especially in the potter’s field section of the Citizens section. The Calvary, Masonic, and Odd Fellows sections have decorative steel gates. No historic funerary structures such as mausoleums are present, although a small metal-sided storage shed that probably dates to the third quarter of the twentieth century is located near the southern boundary of the Calvary/Citizens section.
The first known burials date to 1863, and by the late 1860s fencing and other improvements were in place. The cemetery’s memorials include stylish imported marble and granite monuments, some with statuary; ornamental metal fences and wood palings; wooden headboards, some with traces of painted inscriptions; and vernacular concrete, stone, and metal gravemarkers. The extensive and well-preserved cemetery affords dramatic views of the Reese River Valley and surrounding mountain ranges.