Tag Archives: geneaology

Alderson: The past remains

At Alderson, a former village along the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline, northwest of Medicine Hat, time and freight roll on – but the past remains.

To echo the thoughts included within the preface to Empire of Dust (see below), it should be a historic site. There are stories to be told there.

Split personality. 

X” marks the spot.

Looking southeast down Bowell Street, Alderson

Related:

The story of Forgotten Alberta

On March 14, I was privileged to join a diverse lineup of presenters at Medicine Hat’s Esplanade Heritage and Cultural Centre for the second Pecha Kucha Night of 2014.

It was an interesting and informative night for all involved, and I’d like to thank Pecha Kucha organizers for inviting me to present.

For those who missed it, or who are looking to kill roughly seven minutes, I’m happy to present the Story of Forgotten Alberta.

Taylor Cemetery: “Consecrated, set apart, and dedicated forever.”

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On October 1, 2013, I was honoured to be part of a dedication ceremony at Taylor Cemetery, located about five miles west of Bow City (which I have written about here and here). A ceremony was performed by Rev. Gordon Cranch of Vulcan; alongside a plinth and bronze plaque that had been installed previously by Vulcan County to commemorate this nearly forgotten pioneer graveyard.

Continue reading Taylor Cemetery: “Consecrated, set apart, and dedicated forever.”

Who are the forgotten dead of Vulcan County?

Whose remains are buried here?

During the decade after 1916, settlers fled the drought-ridden plains of southeastern Alberta en masse. As David C. Jones outlines in his book, We’ll all be buried down here- The Prairie Drybelt Disaster of 1917-1926, homesteaders often alighted with few possessions, many carrying only “the shirts on their backs”.

In some instances settlers were forced to part with something more dear, the remains of loved ones who had passed on, left behind in lonely, sometimes forgotten, prairie graveyards.

“We’ll all be buried down here in this dry belt, if we wait for the government to get us out,” Jones quotes one settler, who expressed his desire to “Quit the Dry Belt” in no uncertain terms:. “And parts of it are desperately desolate places to be buried in.

One such desperately desolate place was Taylor Cemetery, located in Vulcan County:

Along an unremarkable stretch of road, about seventeen miles northeast of the village of Lomond, lie the forgotten dead of Vulcan County.

On a wind-whipped knoll, just to the north of Secondary Highway 539, a lonely pioneer graveyard endures, as it has for almost a century. Within rest the remains of a forgotten few, the only legacy left by a handful of pioneer families who were driven from these drought-stricken plains after 1916. Today this little cemetery on the prairie holds a mystery, the identities of those laid to rest, and the number of individuals interred here, having been lost over time.

Continue reading Who are the forgotten dead of Vulcan County?