Tag Archives: Prince Albert

Who Maintains Saskatchewan Cemeteries?

11 Dec

Rainy Days and Mondays

Who Maintains Saskatchewan Cemeteries?

To purchase a cemetery plot in the same cemetery as one’s family, to make a donation to the cemetery or to erect a tombstone for an ancestor it may be necessary to know the contact information for the owner/operators of the cemetery. Many cemetery owners and operators rely upon the sale of burial plots to fund maintenance and development of their cemetery land tracts. Technically “the operation of cemeteries in Saskatchewan,” reported Morgan, Don, Q.C., Minister of Justice and Attorney General, “falls under the purview of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General.” The genealogist or family historian is offered more than just this one path of locating the cemetery owner, operator in order to discover if an ancestor is interred in a cemetery in Saskatchewan. wonderfully there are numerous organisations involved in transcribing around 3,500 cemeteries across the province.

To determine who maintains a cemetery in Saskatchewan, one way would be to contact the local funeral home. This information can be located in the phone directory located at either Mysask.com Directory Search or through Canada 411.

There are different levels of cemetery ownership in the province. Homestead pioneer interments may be located on private land. religious denominations may establish their own cemetery and care for them within their spiritual community. The Right Honourable George John Diefenbaker (a former Prime Ministers) is an historic site listed in Government of Canada’s Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada . Diefenbaker is interred beside the Diefenbaker Canada Centre, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Community or public cemeteries are usually owned at a municipal level. Cities may have a parks a parks and infrastructure department to look after cemeteries. Saskatchewan has 16 cities including Lloydminster, which traverses the provincial border with Alberta, but not including Flin Flon, which traverses the provincial border with Manitoba. The cities are (in alphabetical order) Estevan, Flin Flon, Humboldt, Lloydminster, Martensville, Meadow Lake, Melfort, Melville, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Warman, Weyburn, and Yorkton. Towns, and villages also maintain their own cemeteries.

Smaller communities may be cared for the by the rural municipality consisting of reeve (undertaking a similar capacity to the mayor of a city), councillors and administrator. Rural cemeteries may appoint a cemetery committee for the seasonal upkeep of the public cemetery grounds, weeding, mowing and general care, repair and grooming.

The Saskatchewan Genealogy has recorded the legal land locations, and names over 3,430 cemeteries in the province which is online “SGS Cemetery Index.” This index identifies the owner operator where known, and also if the transcript is available through the family search library maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

There are a number of organisations actively involved in transcribing, documenting and photographing cemetery tombstones. The Saskatchewan Gen Web has a listing of them online.

So now lets take an example. Suppose that in using the Canada Gen Web Saskatchewan Cemetery Projet that one finds the Richard Cemetery is located near Speers, Saskatchewan at legal land location SW quarter of section 08- township 43- range 12 West of the 3rd meridian in the rural municipality of Douglas 436 which happens to be in the northwest area of Saskatchewan. Who would maintain this cemetery? Going to the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society Cemetery Index and searching under he , one finds that in fact there are two Richard Cemeteries, however the ownership of both of them are unknown and neither have been transcribed by the SGS nor or they available on microfilm at the family search libraries through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. If the cemetery had been transcribed by the SGS it would be a simple matter of searching the burial index. Now conducting a search on the Saskatchewan Gen Web Cemetery pages, to see if any other organisation has transcribed cemeteries for either the RM of Douglas or the Richard Cemetery near Speers, by using the “find feature” on your internet browser (pressing the control key and the key “f” at the same time), then it comes up that the transcription is in fact online.

To go on to help in different scenarios. If a cemetery happened to be looked after by a spiritual organisation – look to that organisation, the church archives, or the synagogue webpages for burial registers. If the cemetery transcription still is not found, one can search each organisation’s individual listing, or use your favourite internet web search engine, ie google, bing, yahoo search, etc, to see if the cemetery, closest community or rural municipality is online. Another option available to the family historian would be to Search Saskatchewan Placenames to discover which regional provincial gen web would have resources for the area around the cemetery, in this case looking up the name “Speers”. In so doing, one finds out that “Speers, Saskatchewan” (previously named New Ottawa) is located within the Saskatoon Regional gen web. Now the resources on the regional pages are also available and access to the Saskatoon Gen Web mailing list and the Saskatoon Gen Web posting (query) board where many many folks come together who also may be able to answer your query on a local regional level. It is also interesting to note that the Saskatchewan Gen Web Cemetery pages list other resources to locate an ancestor such as the death certificate searchable index, searchable obituaries, etc.

This helps the genealogist, but we have not found the folks who maintain the cemetery to make a donation for the cemetery upkeep, to purchase a cemetery plot or arrange for a tombstone for an existing internment. The cemetery owner can be traced by contacting the rural municipality in the Saskatchewan “Municipal Directory System” , in this case searching for the RM of Douglas 436. The other way to find the folks who maintain the cemetery would be to search for the funeral home in Mysask.com Directory Search or through Canada 411. In this example searching for a funeral home near Speers, Saskatchewan. The selection of the first and closest funeral homes which come up are in the city of North Battleford, 56.47 kilometres (35.09 miles) away, which would be able to offer assistance.

As noted on wikipedia, “cemetery authorities face a number of tensions in regard to the management of cemeteries.” Owners face issues relating to cost, limited amount of land, and the perpetual maintenance of historic monuments and headstones. If contacting a rural municipality office please consider a donation to help the cemetery operators realize the full potential of the special environment of the individual burial ground, and their improvements.

“Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;

Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes

Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth,

Let’s choose executors and talk of wills”

~ William Shakespeare, Richard II

Bibliography:

Adamson, Julia. “Cemetery Preservation: Preserving Landscapes of Memories” https://aumkleem.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/cemetery-preservation-preserving-landscapes-of-memories/ Namaste Aum Kleem. Saskatchewan Gen Web E-Magazine. 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

Adamson, Julia. Saskatchewan Gen Web Saskatchewan Gen Web Project – Church / Any Spiritual Affiliation Genealogy Resources. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansk/Saskatchewan/church.html Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Bylaw No. 6453. “http://www.saskatoon.ca/DEPARTMENTS/City%20Clerks%20Office/Documents/bylaws/6453.pdf City of Saskatoon. 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Cemeteries Act, 1999. Ministry of Justice. Government of Saskatchewan.” http://www.justice.gov.sk.ca/Cemeteries-Act-1999 1999. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Cemeteries Act, 1999” http://www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/English/Statutes/Statutes/C4-01.pdf Chapter C-4.01* of the Statutes of Saskatchewan, 1999 (effective November 1, 2001) as amended by the Statutes of Saskatchewan, 2000, c.L-5.1; 2002, c.R-8.2
; 2009, c.T-23.01 ; and 2010, c.E-9.22. Government of Saskatchewan. Documents. 1999. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Cemeteries, churchyards, and burial grounds” http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110118095356/http:/www.cabe.org.uk/files/cemeteries-churchyards-and-burial-grounds.pdf National Archives. United Kingdom Government. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Cemetery Regulations, 2001” http://www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/English/Regulations/Regulations/C4-01r1.pdf Government of Saskatchewan. 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Cemeteries legal definition of Cemeteries. Cemeteries synonyms by the Free Online Law Dictionary.” http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Cemeteries. Farlex, Inc. 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“City of Yorkton. Cemetery. ” http://www.yorkton.ca/dept/leisure/cemetery.asp City of Yorkton. 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

Desmond, Paige. “Perpetual care? Cities struggle to meet public expectations on cemetery maintenance” http://www.therecord.com/news-story/4036717-perpetual-care-cities-struggle-to-meet-public-expectations-on-cemetery-maintenance/ The Record. Metroland. 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Death in the Family” http://www.plea.org/legal_resources/?a=249&searchTxt=&cat=28&pcat=4 Public Legal Education Association – Legal Resources. 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“FAQ: CanadaGenWeb’s Cemetery Project” http://cemetery.canadagenweb.org/faq.html#cem CanadaGenWeb’s Cemetery Project 2004-2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“FAQ. Western Canada Cemetery Association. “http://www.westerncemetery.com/default.aspx?page=3 Western Canada Cemetery Association. 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Funerals Entire Collection. Canadian Consumer Handbook.” http://www.consumerhandbook.ca/en/topics/products-and-services/funerals
Federal-Provincial-Territorial
Consumer Measures Committee. 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

Adamson Julia. Saskatchewan Gen Webmaster. “Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames. Quiz Two.” http://aumkleem.blogspot.ca/2012/06/landmarks-and-geophysical-saskatchewan.html “Quiz Two answers. Uncovering Historical Census and Cemetery Records.” http://aumkleem.blogspot.ca/2012/06/uncovering-historical-census-and.html Namaste Aum Kleem Saskatchewan Gen Web E Magazine. 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

Morgan, Don, Q.C. Minister of Justice and Attorney General. “Saskatchewan’s Historic cemeteries.” http://www.otcommunications.com/images/issue/sept10net.pdf Network Magazine. Canadian Cemetery Management. September 2010. Volume 24 No. 10. 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Municipal Directory System” http://www.mds.gov.sk.ca/apps/Pub/MDS/welcome.aspx Government of Saskatchewan. Municipal Directory System. 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

Ontario Gen Web Project Cemetery Records. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canon/research-topic-cemetery.html Ontario Gen Web Project. [Though for Ontario, a report on cemetery records, access and information available] 1997-2013 Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Refer to Bylaws and Regulations. City of Regina.” http://www.regina.ca/residents/cemeteries/cemetery-regulations/ City of Regina. 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

<aref=”http://www.regina.ca/residents/cemeteries/cemetery-regulations/&#8221; Refer to Bylaw and
“SGS Cemetery Index” http://www.saskgenealogy.com/cemetery/Cemetery_Index.htm” Saskatchewan Genealogy Society. 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Saskatchewan looking to preservation of Cemeteries. Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.” 2009. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

Saskatchewan Provincial Government Wants to Preserve Forgotten Cemeteries. http://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=7215 Genealogy Blog. Canada, Cemeteries, Saskatchewan. 2009. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

Town of Biggar, Saskatchewan. Bylaw No. 99-613. A Bylw to Acquire, maintain, regulate and control the Biggar Cemetery. http://www.townofbiggar.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/221 Town of Biggar. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“367/09 Cemetery Bylaw | Town of Stoughton 367/09 Cemetery Bylaw | Crossroads of Friendship” http://stoughtonsk.ca/36709-cemetery-bylaw/ Town of Stoughton. Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“Weyburn. The Opportunity City. Services. Cemeteries.” http://www.weyburn.ca/modules.php?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=22 Retrieved December 11, 2013.

“The graveyard was at the top of the hill. It looked over all of the town. The town was hills – hills that issued down in trickles and then creeks and then rivers of cobblestone into the town, to flood the town with rough and beautiful stone that had been polished into smooth flatness over the centuries. It was a pointed irony that the very best view of the town could be had from the cemetery hill, where high, thick walls surrounded a collection of tombstones like wedding cakes, frosted with white angels and iced with ribbons and scrolls, one against another, toppling, shining cold. It was like a cake confectioner’s yard. Some tombs were big as beds. From here, on freezing evenings, you could look down at the candle-lit valley, hear dogs bark, sharp as tuning forks banged on a flat stone, see all the funeral processions coming up the hill in the dark, coffins balanced on shoulders.”~ Ray Bradbury

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Naval Monument honours prairie Royal Canadian Navy seamen and ships H.M.C.S. Regina (K234) and H.M.C.S. Weyburn (K 173)

26 Sep

Naval Monument honours Royal Canadian Navy prairie seamen and RCN ships
H.M.C.S. Regina (K234) and H.M.C.S. Weyburn (K 173)

John Thompson RCNVR (V 34087), a cook aboard the HMCS Regina aged 24 son of Robert Parker Thompson and Helena Thompson, of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan was one of the naval seamen honoured on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at an unveiling ceremony held on Navy Way in Regina, Saskatchewan in front of the HMCS Queen naval reserve unit.

The Friends of the Navy have honoured Royal Canadian Navy sailors who hail from Saskatchewan, particularly those who fell in World War II. The new Saskatchewan Naval monument honours the naval ships, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Weyburn and the HMCS Regina who were both lost in World War II. The HMCS Weyburn on the 67th anniversary of its sinking was commemorated earlier during the centennial year of the Royal Canadian Navy in 2010. Royal Canadian Navy ships paid tribute to dozens Saskatchewan Communities in their naming including the HMCS Waskesiu and the HMCS Estevan.

The HMCS Weyburn (K 173), the namesake for the city of Weyburn was a flower class corvette mainly serving in the Battle of the Atlantic. This smaller ship was needed as an escort ship and equipped by minesweeping gear. However, on February 32, 1943 at 11:17 a.m., the Weyburn struck a large SSMA (Sonder Mine A) magnetic mine laid by German U-boat U-118. The mine, new technology for the time, could be laid as deep as 350 meters, and the Weyburn taken three weeks after the charge was laid was one of the first victims. Though HMS Wivern assisted Weyburn after the initial explosion, two depth charges exploded, everyone in the water, and crew members of the Wivern were killed or severely injured. Of the 83 officers and men aboard the Weyburn 12 died and there were 71 survivors.

The HMCS Regina (K 234), was another Saskatchewan namesake for the province’s capital city, Regina. HMCS Regina, was a flower-class corvette also engaged in escort duties in the Second World War. The American Liberty Ship, the Ezra Weston was a cargo ship carrying war material to the theatre of war. The Ezra Weston took a torpedo from the U-667. Her only escort was the HMCS Regina who was under the impression that the merchant ship had fallen to a mine. Therefore the Regina turned to assist the flailing ship and pick up survivors. The U-boat then also fired on the corvette. Within 30 seconds on August 8, 1944 at 9:27 p.m., one officer and 27 men fell.

Robert Watkins, a prairie sailor out of Winnipeg, sums it up this way, “during the war, the one thing he was scared of was the submarines, if the supply lines from Canada and the U.S. had dried up on account of the submarines, Britain would have gone under.”

Alongside John Thompson, Douglas Peter Robertson RCNVR (V 11460) son of Robert Angus Robertson and Elizabeth Jane Robertson, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan aged 26 fell August 8, 1944 in his capacity as Petty Officer Stoker aboard the HMCS Regina. As well, John Charles Henry Rathbone RCNVR (V 34478), son of John and Florence Rathbone, of Regina, Saskatchewan, aged 27 who took on the duties of supply assistant did not survive his wounds incurred that fatal evening. These three Saskatchewan prairie naval reservists lost their lives along with their crew mates, British and Canadian Navy sailors.

The Fall Action Stations magazine reports that, “exactly how many Saskatchewanians served in the RCN during the war is hard to estimate as many volunteered at recruiting offices outside the province, and vice versa. And due to wartime staffing pressures, sailors from a particular city or town rarely served on the ship bearing its name.”

For instance, Joseph McGrath, V/11616, son of Margaret McGrath of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, serving with the Royal Canadian Volunteer Reserve aboard the HMCS Athabaskan was one of those honoured in the commemorative naming program of the Saskatchewan Geographic Names Board with the naming of McGrath Lake in Saskatchewan.

Natural geographic features across Saskatchewan honour armed forces personnel and merchant sailors from the Second World War and the Korean War, and also those who fell during peacekeeping or NATO missions, or while protecting the public while on active duty such as police officers, firefighters, and Emergency Response Personnel.

The Naval Memorial erected at a cost of about $30,00 honours was spear-headed by Doug Archer, Chairman of the Friends of the Navy, and Steve Smedley. There are over 6,000 war memorials in Canada remembering those who fought with courage. Saskatoon’s Next of Kin Memorial Avenue in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is a national historic site. Both the Regina Cemetery and the North Battleford Cemetery are homes to two of the 28 Crosses of Sacrifice. Alongside these memorials, the Royal Canadian Legion branches and towns across Saskatchewan have erected monuments and cenotaphs honouring those who fell in military service from their community.

Quoting Lieutenant James Balfour, himself a prairie seaman, serving in the naval reserve stemmed from “the belief that there are things that are more important than just you as an individual, it’s about serving your country and doing something for the good of others.”

Terrence McEachern of The Leader Post quoted Doug Archer, former mayor of Regina, “We are so truly blessed that others have gone before us to preserve our freedom and our democracy. We need to honour them and never forget the contribution they’ve made.”

~Article written by Julia Adamson

Bibliography

Adamson, Julia. Commander Harold Wilson Balfour OBE VD RCNVR Recognized for Outstanding Civic Service and Meritorious Military Achievement. H.W. Balfour’s Truly Impressive Career.

CMHC 200 National Defence. Canadian Military History Since the 17th Century Proceedings of the Canadian Military History Coinvernce Ottawa 5-9 May 2000. Edited by Yves Tremblay. National Defence 2001.

CWGC Works 2007 Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Canada) .

Crewlist from HMCS Weyburn ( 173) Canadian Corvette) Ships hit by German U-=boats Uboat.net. 1995 – 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

Crewlist from HMCS Regina 1995 – 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

Falloon, Dan.Veteran hoping to commemorate fellow sailors. 04 24 2013. Winnipeg Free Press.

For Posterity’s Sake Canadian Genealogy HMCS Weyburn K173 Corvette Ships hit by German U-boats during WWII uboat.net. 1995 – 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

HMCS Regina (K 234) of the Royal Canadian Navy – Canadian Corvette of the Flower class – Allied warships of WWII uboat.net. 1995 – 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

HMCS Regina (K 234) Canadian K 234) (Canadian Corvette) ships hit by German U boats during WWII 1995 – 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

HMCS Regina (K234) Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia

HMCS Weyburn (K173) (Canadian Corvette) Ships hit by German U-boats during WWII uboat.net 1995 – 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

HMCS Weyburn (K173) Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. id version =571908407.

Home/About Government/News Releases/November 2006/New Commemorative Naming Program to Recognize Saskatchewan Heroes. Government of Saskatchewan. c/o Grant Bastedo. Information Services Corporation of Saskatchewan ISC

JosephMcGrath – The Canadian Virtual War Memorial. Records and Collections. Veteran’s Affairs Canada. Government of Canada. 2013-07-29.

Liberty Ship. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. id version=572158310

Mceachern, Terrence. Monument honours Navy seamen from Sask The Leader-Post, republished The StarPhoenix. September 23, 2013. 2010 – 2013 Postmedia Network Inc.

Naval Memorial Installation. Friends of the Navy.

Naval Monument Planned for Regina. From the files of Will Chabun, Leader Post, Regina. Memorial Honours RCN War Hero. 2012 Fall Action Stations. Volume 30 Issue 5 HMCS Sackville Newsletter.

Christianson, Adriana. Navy Reservists in Regina Commemorate the Battle of the Atlantic. May 6, 2013. New Saskatchewan Naval Monument. 620 CKRM the Source. Harvard Broadcasting Radio Stations September 23, 2013.

Remembrance Day Tribute. Let us remember those who served in the wars of yesterday and today. November 12, 2010.

Travel Article: Lest We Forget: Outstanding Canadian War Memorials / 1994-2013 World Web Technologies Inc.

Volume 2 Part 1 Extant Commissioned Ships. HMCS Regina. National Defence and the Canadian Forces. DHH Home. Histories. 2006-07-07. Government of Canada.

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For More Information:

•Saskatchewan Gen Web Military Resources

•Canada In Flanders – The Official Story of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Volume I

•Saskatchewan Gen Web E-Magazine

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Related posts:

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

Michelle Lang. Canadian Journalist. Jan 31, 1975-Dec 30, 2009. Afghanistan Casualty.

Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial Site Updated

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

Where were Saskatchewan Homesteads Located?

How do I locate my ancstor’s home town in Saskatchewan? Have you ever visited your ancestral home?

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Thank you for stopping by, your comments are much appreciated. All rights reserved. Copyright © Aum Kleem. All my images and text are protected under international authors copyright laws and Canadian photography laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. They may be licensed throgh Getty images. Peace and love be with you. Namaste.

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Naval Monument, Royal Canadian Navy, Prairie Sailors, Tribute, Commemoration, H.M.C.S. Regina (K234), H.M.C.S. Weyburn (K 173) HMCS REgina, HMCS Weyburn, John Thompson, HMCS Queen, Doug Archer,Joseph McGrath, Lieutenant James Balfour, Steve Smedley, Friends of the Navy, Robert Watkins,Douglas Peter Robertson, John Charles Henry Rathbone, Naval Monument, Royal Canadian Navy, Prairie Sailors, Tribute, Commemoration, H.M.C.S. Regina (K234), H.M.C.S. Weyburn (K 173) HMCS REgina, HMCS Weyburn, John Thompson, HMCS Queen, Doug Archer,Joseph McGrath, Lieutenant James Balfour, Steve Smedley, Friends of the Navy, Robert Watkins,Douglas Peter Robertson, John Charles Henry Rathbone, CA, Canada, Sk, Sask, Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, North Battleford, Regina, Prince Albert, Weyburn, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Naval Monument, Royal Canadian Navy, Prairie Sailors, Tribute, Commemoration, H.M.C.S. Regina (K234), H.M.C.S. Weyburn (K 173) HMCS REgina, HMCS Weyburn, John Thompson, HMCS Queen, Doug Archer,Joseph McGrath, Lieutenant James Balfour, Steve Smedley, Friends of the Navy, Robert Watkins,Douglas Peter Robertson, John Charles Henry Rathbone, Naval Monument, Royal Canadian Navy, Prairie Sailors, Tribute, Commemoration, H.M.C.S. Regina (K234), H.M.C.S. Weyburn (K 173) HMCS REgina, HMCS Weyburn, John Thompson, HMCS Queen, Doug Archer,Joseph McGrath, Lieutenant James Balfour, Steve Smedley, Friends of the Navy, Robert Watkins,Douglas Peter Robertson, John Charles Henry Rathbone, CA, Canada, Sk, Sask, Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, North Battleford, Regina, Prince Albert, Weyburn, Winnipeg, Manitoba,

Reno Hill School District 5158; Memories of When the Water Came or The price paid for electricity

8 Mar

Rainy Days and Mondays

Reno Hill School District 5158; Memories of When the Water Came

~or~

The price paid for electricity

  • “Change is the parent of progress.” Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

The E.B. Campbell Dam was first proposed as the “Squaw Rapids Dam” by the Saskatchewan Power Corporation and the Government of Saskatchewan. This hydroelectric dam was the province’s inaugural venture into providing electrical power. By the mid 1900s it was recognised that the province’s growing electrical energy demand was to soon surpass the existing facilities. In 1961, the province required 1,500,000,000 kilowatt-hours, by late 1964, the Squaw Rapids plant was constructed to produce 1,000,000,000 kilowatt-hours of energy from six 33,500-kilowatt hydraulic turbine generators. The building of the 110 foot (33.5 m) high dam commenced in the beginning of 1960 at an estimated cost of $46 million dollars. The dam is 2,370 feet (722 m) across between the banks of the river, and 620 feet (189 m) wide at the base of the dam, and allows for a two-lane highway across the deck of the dam. The Saskatchewan River was diverted in 1961, and by the fall of 1962, with the $57 million dollar dam completed, the river was closed, filling the dam reservoir. By June of 1963, Premier W.S. Lloyd opened the Squaw Rapids Dam in front of a crowd of approximately 3,000.

  • “The creation of huge reservoirs allows some control over the flow of the river itself. . . . But the [river] is not just a machine. It is an organic machine. . . . For no matter how much we have created many of its spaces and altered its behavior, it is still tied to larger organic cycles beyond our control.” White p. 111-12

The Squaw Rapids hydroelectric station, renamed in 1988, honours E.B. (Bruce) Campbell who was the assistant chief engineer during the construction project. Bruce Campbell was also SaskPower president and CEO between 1983 to 1987 The name “Petaigan” for the reservoir was brought forward to honour the former river now under the reservoir waters. Others suggested that Major E.E. Andrews, a nurse of the Second World War from Carrot River should be honoured with the reservoir naming. William Thorburn employee and trader of the Northwest Trading Company constructed a home and trading post in the area in 1791. Common usage of the name Tobin rather than Thorburn, easier to pronounce, became the name of the trading post and the nearby “Tobin Rapids“. (However, the 1924 Rand McNally Map refers to this location as the Tobin Rof??ls Rapids (see attached enlargement Image) Carrot River suggested the reservoir be named ““Tobin Lake” after much controversy. 174 years after the Tobin NW trading post was established on the rocky bend in the Saskatchewan River, Saskatchewan’s first hydro electric power station was erected, and just as Tobin Rapids was named after William Thorburn, so to Tobin Lake bore his name.


  • “Dams for hydroelectric power generation are located at a site
    where the difference in elevations between the surface of the new reservoir and the outlet to the
    downstream river is adequate to power electrical-generating turbines.”Cech [2003, p150-15

Squaw Rapids, in northern bush lands, was selected because of two sets of rapids on the site. Water plunges 105 feet (32 m) in huge penstocks which channel the water into giant turbines.CP June 15, 1963.7,000,000 cubic yards (6,000,000 m3) of earth were excavated from the reservoir site and re-used creating embankments for the earth-filled dam and a 3,000 foot (900 m) long airstrip. The reservoir covers 75,000 acres (303.5 km3) of land, and when full, the water level rises to 1,013 feet (309 m). By the end of 1962, the water level had already reached 1008 feet (307 m) rising at about one foot (0.3 m) of water a day. Tobin Lake stores 1,780,000 acre-feet (21,965,000,000 cubic meters) of water or 271,322 gallons (about 1,000,000 liters). Plans for the reservoir included creating the reservoir at Squaw Rapids, encompassing Tobin Rapids and extending upstream to the town of Nipawin located 45 miles (72 km) from the dam site at Squaw Rapids. The Torch River Valley provides a natural floodway should the river exceed its highest known peak at spring thaw.


  • “Mr Schell always predicted that with the water power potential for cheap electricity and the abundance of natural resources, Nipawin would eventually grow into a city, and was very concerned when the townsite was laid out that the streets be kept wide, rather than the then popular narrow ones, and that as many pines as possible be left in and around the townsite.” [Mr Winn Schell printed the first newspaper in Nipawin – The Monitor in 1907 later called The Recorder]Schaible p. 842

The reservoir base 46 miles (74 km) by 11-12 miles (18-19 km) wide was prepared for the new lake, wells, dugouts, and basements were all filled in, sawdust piles removed, telephone and power poles, fences and buildings torn down or moved away. The Department of Natural Resources had the $817,000 assignment to clear the reservoir site, removing all useable lumber from crown lands, clearing the 40 by 10 mile (64 x 16 km) area. It was proposed to open the area to farmers who could take some two to three million feet (600,000 to 900,000 m) of spruce lumber from the area. Approximately 40 million feet (12,000,000 m) of white spruce timber, and four million feet (1,000,000 m) of jack pine timber, 17,000 cords (62,000 m3.) of jack pine or fence posts, and 50 million feet (15,000,000 m) of poplar timber needed to be cleared. Following the clearing, a forest fire was set deliberately, to reduce the site to ash, however this failed due to rains, but not before covering the dam construction site with thick smoke. Additionally the SPC put out another $50,000 on clearing and after the dam opened, another contract was needed to prevent logs jamming the dam. 50,000,000 board feet of pine and spruce were removed from the area.


  • It was known from experience where stands of pine and spruce had been flooded during water control projects that trees were still standing after 20 to 30 years…this would have destroyed the recreational potential of Tobin Lake for many years, and would have reduced its usable surface area by two-thirds,” said Resources Minister Eiling Kramer.Leader-Post Oct 2, 1963.

The steam-generating plants at Moose Jaw and Prince Albert were to be closed down in favour of the more economical hydroelectric station here. Water flow at the Squaw Rapids dam is regulated by remote control at the Queen Elizabeth Power Plant in Saskatoon and later from Regina. The hydro-electric project is located 150 miles from Prince Albert, 42 miles (68 km) from Nipawin, 30 miles (48 km) from Carrot River and 45 miles (72 km) upstream of Tobin Rapids.

  • “We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. With out them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence. ”

120 farmers from the Petaigan, Mossey Vale, and Ravendale districts were estimated to be affected by the filling of the dam reservoir. The farmers who had lands expropriated for the project moved out before December 31, 1961. “SPC has purchased 134 quarter sections of their farm land…most of these farmers have relocated on similar farms in the same general area.Longman 1961 Archdeacon Payton related that the Anglican Church was removed before the region was flooded. About 205 sections or 131,200 acres (531 km2) of land were needed for the Squaw Rapids Hydro Electric project, of which 55 sections (143 km2 were owned by the Crown leaving 600 quarter sections (390 km2) of land in private hands. By October 24, 1962, SPC had only six quarter sections ( 4 km2 ) left to negotiate. SPC also allowed homesteaders to have a lease on their the portion of the land which was above the water line, the Government not only bought the land that would be flooded, but they also paid for improvements done upon the land. After purchase, SPC put buildings up for tender on the condition of sale that the buildings be completely moved or dismantled before December 1961.

  • In all, 100 families were affected, most of them already located in the same general area. They received an average of $55 an acre (4000 m2 or .004 km2 $35,200 a section or $8,800 a quarter section.)).”CP Oct 26, 1962

Compensation packages first proposed considered 2-1/2 the value of the assessment with an additional percentage paid out based on individual needs. In 1924, the Canadian Pacific Railway was offering agricultural land for $11.66 per acre on average with irrigated land fetching $43.74 per acre reported The Financial Post. Whereas, in 1954 the Saskatoon Star Phoenix published that land selling in the Nipawin area was listed for approximately $100 per acre and prices across the provinces were down about 15 per cent from 1953 sales. Land elsewhere in the province was listed at $60 to $70 an acre, and lighter lands may only receive a listed sale price of $25 to 50 per acre. Farm lands for sale in the Rural Municipalities of Torch River, Nipawin and Moose Range, were listed at $50 to $100 per acre in 1966.

  • When the water backs up after the 1962 spring breakup in the river ice, the Petaigan River will burst its banks and disappear, and a church, a school, a curling rink and a farmer’s union lodge, as well as scores of farm homes, will vanish in the Petaigan district.Hooper March 1960

As Daniel Baird relates, “maps present a picture of the complex relationship between water and land as they intersect with human life…driven by the politics of settlement and energy. [Tegan Smith’s] exhibit gestures toward the depths of the lake, which we then have to imagine. The image of long abandoned, rotted out barns in the silty green murk of lake water, fish drifting through their open doors and windows, long spikes of light descending from the surface, everything in suspended animation, in slow motion, is haunting and even funereal. The sparsely settled Mossy Vale, with its isolated farms, traditional hunters and trappers, has become a place of memory.


  • Having no electricity, we were fortunate to have an ice well; our milk and cream we hung down the well in cans. We canned everything we could; meat, game, chicken, turkey, and all kinds of fruit wild and cultivated – so we were rarely at a loss for a quick meal if somebody unexpected dropped in.Horn p. 260

The Nipawin School Unit No. 61 school board advertised for teachers for the 1961 school term. 16 pupils between grades one and eight were enrolled at Reno Hill School District 21 miles out of Carrot River. The Labalm School District was another one room school district nestled in the hamlet of Moose Range serving 15 pupils in the primary grades as well. Squaw Rapids school was a newly established one room school operating out of a trailer for the approximately 20 children of the Saskatchewan Power Corporation Squaw Rapids Dam site area. By the fall of 1961, the Squaw Rapids hydroelectric development project saw a community population of 1,955 necessitating the construction of a two room school building for 61 children. Over the summer of 1961, 275 pioneers came together at the Mossy Vale school near Nipawin for a re-union. The Nipawin Public School saw a huge enrollment, jumping to 834 students in September of 1961. The school enrollment was expected yet to rise to 864 pupils. Five rural schools closed. Mossy Vale, Glen Horne SD 5048, Grassy Lake, Kirkwell (Kirkwall SD 4647) and Welland SD 4473 schools closed their doors. At Nipawin public school, grade seven students attended classes at the high school and at a separate building. The staff room, library, and electrical rooms have been converted to classrooms. The Nipawin ten room school expected to open in 1962 will alleviate some of the over-crowding. In grade one alone, there were 124 students at the beginning of the 1962 school year.


  • Miss Dengate began teaching at Inkster School, with an enrollment of some 37 children spanning ten grades. She hadn’t any experience with one-room schools, and so had to learn a lot in a short time. The school was far from luxurious, with its outdoor plumbing and water pail and dipper, quite a change for someone from England, used to having electricity and indoor plumbing. There was a big stove on which the children would leave their lunch pails to thaw, as it would freeze on the way to school and stay frozen if left on the floor.Haywood p. 681

Cumberland House (“Waskahiganihk” ) settled in 1774 upon an island in the middle of the Saskatchewan River delta region surrounded by swamps, marshes and lakes. It is here that Father Ovide Charlebois erected The first log building schoolhouse in the 1890s inaugurating a system of instruction with both Catholics and Protestants teaching the curriculum. Cumberland House residents depended on a ferry crossing during the summer months, and an ice road in the winter.  The dam is approximately 30 miles(48 km) upstream from the delta area.


  • In 1945, a new home was built, but still no plumbing or electricity.Pihowich p. 777

The Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-41-G) which was launched on 5 October 1984 was able to photograph the Squaw Rapids Dam on October 9, 1984.

“Reshaping life! People who can say that have never understood a thing about life—they have never felt its breath, its heartbeat—however much they have seen or done. They look on it as a lump of raw material that needs to be processed by them, to be ennobled by their touch. But life is never a material, a substance to be molded. If you want to know, life is the principle of self-renewal, it is constantly renewing and remaking and changing and transfiguring itself, it is infinitely beyond your or my obtuse theories about it.”
Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

With other companies pushing forward in potash production, in 10 years time provincial potash production should reach $100,000,000 a year,” said Premier Woodrow Stanley Lloyd, “The estimated power production for 1963 is 2,000,000,000 kilowatts, five times the production of 10 years ago….This kind of development and announced intention will help keep our place as the fourth largest producer of minerals among Canadian provinces. Leader-Post Jan 1963. Lloyd was also quoted as saying, “there are good reasons for satisfaction in a review of developments in Saskatchewan during 1962. One of the highlights of the economic year has been the surge of activity in connection with our mineral resources. With the opening of the world’s largest potash production plant at Esterhazy, and with 15 other firms actively engaged in potash exploration or development Saskatchewan now has a claim to the title of “World Potash Capital.” Our farm electrification program has nearly reached completion this year and the total of farm homes electrified has been brought to nearly 63,000.”Saskatoon Star-Phoenix Dec 1962.

  • “People who want a cure, provided they can have it without pain, are like those who favour progress, provided they can have it without change.”
    Anthony de Mello, Awareness: A de Mello Spirituality Conference in His Own Words

When Bill and Clara Weighill reminisced on the Mossy Vale area, a quote popped to mind, “We’re all in favor of progress, providing we can have it without change.” For the settlers in the area, there were a lot of ups and downs, and lots of hard work. Homesteading in the area was challenging, there were swarms of bull flies, hordes of mosquitoes, horse flies by the dozens, deep snow, muskeg, swamps, mud holes, and as Kristan and Ellen Sogen relate, the pioneers took it all in stride. The farmers who moved left their homes with sentimental reluctance, regret and melancholy, and yet there was an overall feeling of congratulations towards the Saskatchewan Power Plant, which serves the electrical needs of northern Saskatchewan residents.

The area was filled with settlers who did not give up. The Ravendale Frienship club grew together as ladies of the community gathered for an afternoon outing. Well, as the Squaw Rapids Development commenced, the club dwindled as folks gave up their land, and moved away. But, there was no despair, there was no wailing, with steady faith, the club soon built up again, flourishing and able once again to help the community wherever they were able. They were open to love, light and laughter.

The rail finally came through over hill and dale, through swamp and over river, however it arrived four miles outside of the town of Nipawin. This did not mean the end of Nipawin, resilient, forward thinking and stalwart, the townspeople picked up their houses and their buildings and moved them north beside the rail. These were a people looking at the glass half full, not half empty.

  • “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change… The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back…[It is] time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym 

Settlers made a living the hard way, yet it was felt that it was a healthy life. Making success from the challenges in life, coming together with family and friends to meet the next opportunity allowed these pioneers to be truly grateful and able to celebrate the next step forward for the community when the hydro-electric construction began. Electricity, a much needed, and most desired service and life has changed forever.

Article written by Julia Adamson, Sask Gen Webmaster.

Squaw Rapids Reel

By Don Messer

Squaw Rapids dam a symbol of might,Brings steady power both day and night,

Through summer, winter, spring and fall

Steady power – now reverse all.

The SPC’s pledged to bring

Reliable power for everything.

To serve you well that is their aim

Now all get set, four ladies chain

Reno Hill School District 5158
South east section 18 township 53 range 11 west of the 2nd meridian

near Mossy Vale, SK, CA
Located at north west section 28 township 53 range 11 west of the 2 meridian
E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Station, Squaw Rapids Dam, Tobin Lake
Located at Section 12 Township 54 range 10 west of the 2nd meridian

Other neighbouring school districts and placenames

Moose Range Rural Municipality 486

Glen Horne School District 5048 SE quarter of section 2 township 51 range 10 west of the 2 meridian.

Grassy Lake School District Unknown School District number and location. Please E-mail if you know

Kirkwell (Kirkwall) School District 4647 SE section ? township 52 range 16 west of the 2nd meridian

Wellands school district 4473 south west section 27 township 50 range 15 west of the 2 meridian (1922-1961)

Labalm School District 4573 unknown location. Please E-mail if you know

Squaw Rapids School District Unknown School District number Located near dam Section 12 Township 54 range 10 west of the 2nd meridian (temporary school)

Mossy Vale, SaskatchewanMossy Vale Saskatchewan: Mossy Vale/Reno Hill Get-Together: 50 years later!
Prepared site for the Mossy Vale cairn.

Neighbouring places

Petaigan post office had three locations:

  • north west quarter of section 33 township 51 range 11 west of the 2nd meridian 1953
  • NW quarter section 22, township 51, range 11, west of the 2 meridian
  • SE Section 4, Township 52, Range 11, west of the 2 meridian

Ravendale post office SW Section 3, Township 53, R.10, West of the 2nd Meridian

Moose Range post office North west quarter of section 16 township 49 range 12 west of the 2nd meridian

Petaigan River geographical feature (waterway)

Garrick hamlet Northwest section 17 township 52 range 16 west of the 2nd meridian

Beaver House post office north east quarter section 34 township 50 range 15 west of the 2 meridian

Ravine Bank (two locations) Section 14, Township 51, Range 14, west of the 2nd meridian

and Section 16, Township 50, Range 14, west of the 2nd meridian

Prince Albert township 38 range 26 west of the 2nd meridian

Carrot River section 17 township 49 range 11 west of the 2 meridian

Nipawin section 16 township 50 range 14 west of the 2 meridian


Pioneer Ways to Modern Days : history of the town of Carrot River and the Rural Municipality of Moose Range.

Carrot River & District History (Association). Carrot River, Saskatchewan: Carrot River & District History, 1985

Jess. Reno Hill School District 5158, south east section 18 township 53 range 11 west of the 2 meridian near Mossy Vale- Saskatchewan Gen Web – One room School Project March 8, 2013.

Bibliography

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School, Reno Hill School District 5158, Mossy Vale School District 5159, Carrot River, Nipawin, Petaigan River, Garrick, Beaver House, RAvine Bank, Prince Albert, Ravendale, squaw Rapids Dam, Tobin Lake, E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Power Plant, Sask Power, reminiscing, memories, wistful nostalgia, melancholy, regret, sentimenal reluctance, underwater, flooded, reservoir, man made lake

Saskatchewan’s Archaeological Cemeteries

20 Dec

Graceful Delight

Saskatchewan‘s Archaeological Cemeteries

This is Part 3 of a 7 part series
The Heritage Property Act oversees the burials not found in a registered cemetery. On discovery of an historical burial site, the Minister is contacted as well as the appropriate agency, church or church historical documents, Indian band, First Nation or Euro-Canadian descendants before any archaeological excavations would be considered. To confirm land ownership, information can be obtained from the Provincial land registry through Information Services Corporation (ISC). The “Central Burial Site” along the South Saskatchewan River has been established for respectful internment of ancient First Nations burials where appropriate and under consultation with appropriate interest groups to determine final re-burial. Here rest over 200 interments. “This is considered a very sacred burial ground to First Nations,” says Carlos Germann director of Saskatchewan’s heritage conservation branch, “unique in that it accommodates all different tribal affiliations.” If the burial site is not threatened or in jeopardy, the site is recorded, and restored. In the case of a discovered homestead burial, similar legal decisions are made regarding the burial site preservation or removal and relocation to a local cemetery. In Saskatchewan, if the soil is disturbed, a permit is required in Saskatchewan. Approximately five to fifteen archaeological burial sites are found each year.

Swift Current is south east of the Gray cemetery examined between 1970 and 1974 and documented in Quaternary Dates and Verebrate Faunas in Saskatchewan by R.E. Morlan,R. McNeely, S.A. Wolfe, and
B.T. Schreiner. In this pre-historic site, 304 interments were found here dating back 3,000 to 5,000 years. The Gray Cemetery, a National Historic Site, is part of the Oxbow Culture, a part of the Middle Precontact Period..

Archaeological study reveals vital cultural, architectural, spiritual and societal histories. The forgotten cemetery of the St. Vital Parish (1879-1885) located on the Battle River near Telegraph Flat, North West Territories was established in 1877. Telegraph Flat was later named Battleford. Following the 1885 North West Rebellion, the Roman Catholic Mission of St. Vital chose the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) Cemetery near Fort Battleford and later, the Town of Battleford Cemetery This meant that the original cemetery abandoned, and the location forgotten till its discovery in 1999. A meticulous archaeological survey uncovered mortuary practices, spiritual and cultural customs, health and disease, artifacts, and rituals providing an in-depth documentary of the early history of the Oblate priests, the community and the 19th century Battleford area. The names of those interred was derived from parish registers, national, provincial and municipal archive records, Battleford’s North West Historical Society and newspaper accounts. The extensive archaeological research was compared to the records held by the Parish register. Similar archaeological investigation was applied at the Industrial School Cemetery at Battleford, and the two sites studies were compared. A reburial cemetery was held in 2002, and commemorative marker erected in 2003.

Near Canora, Saskatchewan, the Doukhobor Cemetery of Besednoye village was excavated and studied in detail by archaeological investigation. Seventeen interments were found here, and according to Jon Kalmakoff, eight of these have been identified.

The third archaeological cemetery studied in Saskatchewan was the Nisbet Presbyterian Cemetery discovered in 2004. Between 1866 and 1874 twenty-one interments took place at the Nisbet Mission cemetery. “The examination of cemeteries proffers valuable, multi-faceted information pertaining to the past,” writes Lisa Marie Rudolph in, An Osteological and Historical Examination of the Presbyterian Forest Centre Cemetery Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, “the comprehensive nature of burial and cemetery projects necessitate the involvement of local interest groups and specialists for the study to be successfully completed in a considerate manner.” A re-burial ceremony was held the following year at the South Hill Cemetery in Prince Albert.

Communities benefit from historical areas of historic and aesthetic value which bear “a unique or exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared” and can be protected under the Heritage Property Act. The Heritage Conservation Branch of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport (TPCS) has published the Guide to Preparing a Provincial Heritage Property Nomination. As such, “Heritage property is broadly defined as any property that is of interest for its architectural, historical, cultural, environmental, archaeological, palaeontological, aesthetic or scientific value and includes archaeological and palaeontological objects.” Under such designation and protection an historic cemetery would be listed in the provincial Heritage Conservation Branch’s Saskatchewan Register of Heritage Property and the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

The Globe and Mail reported that in 2008 the National Archives records were reviewed to locate cemeteries, and burial sites near Indian Residential Schools or IRS churches. Amongst these is the Regina Indian Industrial School cemetery, located on the west side of Pinkie road, unmarked but for a wooden fence. The Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee “believes that actions should be taken to develop recommendations to ensure that the site of the Regina Indian Industrial School cemetery be suitably and appropriately recognized.”

Note: This program (Saskatchewan Genealogy Society ~ Saskatchewan Cemetery Care and Maintenance Program SCCMP ) has been discontinued, however it ws intriguing, so the information is left here in this blog online

Additional Resources:

Links

Canada Gen Web Saskatchewan Cemeteries Project

Network Canadian Cemetery Management September 2010 Vol 24 No 10

Saskatchewan Gen Web Cemetery Resources and Organisations

Saskatchewan Genealogy Society Cemetery Index

Saskatchewan Historic Cemetery Manual

 SCCMP “The Saskatchewan Cemetery Care and Maintenance Program”

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