I was out for a stroll that night when I heard the commotion up at the old bone orchard. Saw what looked like a bunch of bad eggs, so I laid low.Victor
The cemetery is easy to miss, as it comes at you quick before you get to Goodsprings on the right hand side. It has an archway entrance and is surrounded by a metal fence.
# 88 – Goodsprings Cemetery
# 307 – Nevada State Route 160 / 161
# 88 – Goodsprings Cemetery – It is easy to see the similarities between the real world and the game locations right away. The only main difference is that it is located at the foot of the huge hill in real life as opposed to at the top of it in the game. I have never been able to hike to the top of the hill previously, it has always been too hot. But recently I swung by in the month of January and the fair temps allowed me to do so.
It is not very long of a hike but it is very steep. You should approach it from the Pioneer Saloon side and not the cemetery side. You will be able to see some off road vehicle paths that you can follow – just be careful as the rocks are loose and the drop off on the northeast side is seriously steep – just like in the game.
Here are views from the summit in each direction. Climbing up here made me realize that it would not be very pragmatic to put the graveyard up here, since that would mean you have to haul the individuals up here to be buried, and the gravestones which likely weight hundreds of pounds, when you could just have it on flat ground below, like in real life. But in game, the location a top the hill is more cinematic.
And here is a picture of what the hill looks like from inside the cemetery itself. It is the easiest to see the comparison to the in-game equivalent from this perspective, looking west. In the photo, you can also see the teeny tiny Goodsprings city sign on the left hand side. The town of Goodsprings is on the other side of the hill.
Back in the cemetery, in our world, there is a marker explaining the history of the location which also indicates only “bonafide residents of Goodsprings” can be buried there. Which isn’t me, Benny! I live in Sandy Valley.
The north side of the cemetery, where the Courier was buried, is situated to have Vegas in the sights beyond, despite the north side of the cemetery being the entryway area in real life. Even the hill itself is accurate, with a slower slope on the south side and a steeper drop off on the north side.
The game did a phenomenal job replicating the cemetery. Although there is no water tower in Goodsprings or the Goodsprings Cemetery, this place is a splitting image.
The game has similar internal wooden fences around some of the grave sites, which is similar not only here but many places around the desert. Some are made of different materials – steel, iron etc – but look generally the same.
I have done two on-location character cosplays here. Not directly in the cemetery, but a little to the north of the fence. One of the Courier, and one of Benny.
A sad discovery, an addendum to my entry on Goodsprings:
When I was looking at the graves, I saw a makeshift grave for Coyote Don. If you looked at the link I included for the website about the Coyote Ranch, I am sure you also had your heart warmed by the way Coyote Don described his life, his wife Coyotess Bon, and his ranch.
Sure enough, my heart broke to see it was in fact the same person. He was 89 years old when he passed away in 2008. I hope anyone who happens upon this cemetery will take a few moments to pay their respects to Coyote Don.
In the words of Old Lady Gibson, “living long is a real accomplishment these days.” Rest easy, Coyote Don.
I did a lot of comparison in the cemetery, because I wanted to see if the names on the gravesites are the same, but they are original to the game. The person who was shot in the Pioneer Saloon, of which the bulletholes are still in the wall, is buried here – his name was Paul Coski. I looked up the newspaper article and could not help but notice how bizarre articles were written back then. This guy’s murder was justified because “he was known to be quarrelsome and his body was covered in scars” (circled in green). I also found his death certificate online – note the beautiful penmanship of the coroner. When I was looking at this in the saloon, a lady saw me and told me it was haunted and wanted to tell me a lot about it, so I listened for a fair bit before telling her I was running out of daylight and had to leave.
Even though the gravestones are not exact equivalents, likely to be respectful, I did some research and found four people who have been shot in Goodsprings and rest in the Goodsprings Cemetery. The individuals are William Lee Gressman, died by apparent suicide on September 12, 1918; aforementioned Paul Coski, murdered by J.C. Armstrong on June 25, 1915; Ruby Hill Barnes, murdered October 23, 1948; and Terry Ray Loftis, murdered June 26, 1987. I kept reading over and over in different places that Terry Ray Loftis’ murderer came to his funeral, but I came up empty handed on who that was or if they were caught. His grave is one of the first ones you will see when you enter the fence, and it catches my eye each time I visit.
I wonder if Ruby Hill Barnes was an inspiration for Ruby Hill mine. Her case is the only of the four that is a cold case. She was murdered at the Pioneer Saloon on October 23, 1948 at just 30 years old. That is how old I am, and it really made me sad. It is still an unsolved case to this day. I hope Ruby and the rest of these individuals rest in peace and some day receive justice.
During my most recent trip, I took some pictures of a few more individual graves that were unique. The first says “drum head” but does not have a name or date. The wreath is adorned with drums, PBR, and cigarettes. It must be new, I have not noticed it before. On the ground there was a Hamm’s, a few more cigarettes, flowers, and two drum sticks stuck in front of the wreath. I am going to attempt to figure out who this memorial belongs to and update here if so. They seem to have been pretty cool and have cool friends and family. There is also a unique welded memorial made out of horseshoes.
# 307 – Nevada State Route 160 / 161 – The road that heads to Goodsprings is actually NV 161, with no distinction in the game between 160 and 161. The NV 160 does not cut through Goodsprings, it is instead south of here, connecting Pahrump and Mountain Springs as Blue Diamond Road. Nevada 161 begins in Jean and ends here at the intersection by Doc’s Mitchell’s. This continues to confuse me to this day, so I made a very professional looking chart.
Also as a brief aside, you can drive a small bit faster in the real world than in the game world when leaving Goodsprings, as seen below – 50 in the game and 55 in our world.