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City of Lethbridge Cemetery Services Fonds

https://collections.galtmuseum.com/en/permalink/descriptions73956
Date Range
1909-1969
Description Level
Fonds
Material Type
City Record
Accession No.
20101117000
Physical Description
6 items
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of two Registers of Burials from St. Patrick’s Cemetery, 1916-1918 and 1955-1969, and four Registers of Burials from Mountain View Cemetery, 1921-1926, 1927-1931, Anglican Section 1909-1942, Old Public Section 1915-1920.
Material Type
City Record
Date Range
1909-1969
Fonds
City of Lethbridge Cemetery Services Fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
6 items
Physical Condition
Poor
History / Biographical
The development of Lethbridge's cemeteries mirrors the history of the City itself. Lethbridge's first cemetery was in a coal mining community in the river valley area that is now Indian Battle Park. The first recorded burial was that of 17 year old Henry Stafford, son of mine manager William Stafford. Henry died of typhoid in 1883 and, according to oral history, chose the location for his own grave under a grove of cottonwoods. Henry's death was followed shortly by that of a miner, Britt Stephens, also from typhoid. Henry's tombstone and grave still exist in Indian Battle Park. Debate continues, however, as to whether there are other unmarked graves near his. Several other burials took place in the river valley cemetery but it is unclear whether these persons were later disinterred or whether they remain there. As the City moved up the coulees to the prairie, so too did the cemetery. St. Patrick's Cemetery was built in December of 1886. Known colloquially as the Miners' Cemetery and the Pioneer Cemetery, St. Patrick's Cemetery was divided into three sections: a Roman Catholic section on the west, a Protestant section on the east and a Chinese section on the south east. Unfortunately the location for St. Patrick's was poorly chosen. The unfenced cemetery was located between two coal mines. Slag heaps were piled around the edge of the cemetery and cattle roamed freely among the graves, knocking over headstones and damaging graves. Furthermore, the cemetery was too far from the south side of Lethbridge for people to go there regularly in order to look after the graves of loved ones. Calls were soon made for a cemetery on the south side of town. This request was first answered by the Anglican Church which started a private cemetery in 1901 with the purchase of 5 acres on the current Mountain View Cemetery site. In 1905, undertaker B.C. Moore started a second private adjacent to the Anglican Cemetery which was sold once and then turned over to the City in 1909. Today the City of Lethbridge operates all cemeteries within the City limits, but to date, the City has never started a cemetery. In 1909, the death of Lou Louenthal prompted the Hebrew community in Lethbridge to start their own cemetery. They purchased 1.2 acres of land west of Moore's Cemetery and submitted plans for the City's approval. This cemetery, now a part of Mountain View Cemetery, is maintained through a separate arrangement with the City. In the 1950s, Archmount Cemetery was developed on the west of Lethbridge by a private company. Private Cemeteries such as this developed partly from the panic and concern over the Cold War. Following World War II there was a new interest in the development of cemeteries due to the uncertainties that people faced every day, the memories of a recent war, and the desire to have one's memory last forever. Though the City started none of its cemeteries, it has slowly come into stewardship of all of the cemeteries in town. The Protestant and Chinese sections of St. Patrick's Cemetery came under municipal control in 1899 when the land was transferred from the coal company to the Town of Lethbridge. The Catholic section was transferred from the Diocese to the City in 1953. In 1942 the City purchased the Anglican Cemetery, which it had supervised since the 1920s. Archmount was seized in the late 1970s because of financial mismanagement and the province transferred ownership to the City in 1982. Today, all three of the City's cemeteries are managed from the office located in Mountain View Cemetery. [Source: City of Lethbridge website, http://bing.search.sympatico.ca/?q=city%20of%20lethbridge&mkt=en-ca&setLang=en-CA]
Language
English
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of two Registers of Burials from St. Patrick’s Cemetery, 1916-1918 and 1955-1969, and four Registers of Burials from Mountain View Cemetery, 1921-1926, 1927-1931, Anglican Section 1909-1942, Old Public Section 1915-1920.
Access Restrictions
Public Access
Accession No.
20101117000
Collection
Archive
Less detail