Heidi Bunch - Clampers toast the Copper Queen with champagne after unveiling a monument placed in honor of Fermina Sarras.

Heidi Bunch – Clampers toast the Copper Queen with champagne after unveiling a monument placed in honor of Fermina Sarras.

Above the little town of Luning, sits a small cemetery.

Many locals stop to pay tribute to their loved ones buried within the gates yet many drive by, never knowing, that buried within that fenced compound lies a strong woman, who during her lifetime, took control of her destiny and future and would inevitably be called “The Namesake of Mina”.

The Copper Queen chapter of E Clampus Vitus, a newly formed group of the Clampers, have named themselves after Fermina Sarras, the original “Copper Queen” and namesake of Mina.

Sarras was born in 1840 in Nicaragua and made her way to the United States where she would ditch her aristocratic ways.

Instead, she would wander alone, in the central Nevada desert, in search of ore.

Dawning her overalls, Sarras would become an early day celebrity. Newspapers calling her “Nevada’s Copper Queen” when investors bonded 25 of her copper claims at $8,000 each.

She would have claims in the Belleville, Candelaria and Luning areas. Through her life, she became rich – then poor, having a soft spot for those in need.

The Clampers found that their Copper Queen was buried in the Luning Cemetery in 1915 but after 101 years, her final resting place was unknown.

So, with the help of many – the Clampers honored her by placing a marker outside the small desert cemetery. The plaque speaks of her accomplishments and will stand in the spot until, if ever, the exact whereabouts of her final resting place is located.