Wednesday, 26 September 2018

North of the Hills

This past spring I needed a break from work and, of course, the first thing that pops into my mind is "cemetery run." Living in Medicine Hat means being close to many pioneer cemeteries, mostly abandoned, but a few still being cared for by relatives or sympathetic souls. 

The following are all situated north of the Cypress Hills at locations formerly known as Newburg, Josephsburg and Gros Ventre-Tothill.  These really weren't "settlements" as such, but places where people picked up their mail . . . and buried their dead. 

Most of the country cemeteries were established on land donated by generous settlers . . . often by those who had personally lost a loved one, and often a very young child. There was nothing easy about pioneer life.

Above and directly below are shots of the second location of Salem Evangelical Cemetery.

Following are shots of the first location of the Salem Evangelical Cemetery.  No markers remain but, this cemetery, as well as Site Two, are still maintained by relatives.  The church is long gone.

This guy keeps an eye on things.

Saint Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery is down the road and around the corner from the Salem Evangelical Cemetery sites and dates back to 1888. That's very old in southeastern Alberta's history. The cemetery is no longer maintained.

This spot is not far from Saint Peter's and was ideal for a picnic and a nap. The purple flowers are a very old variety of Tall Phlox. These are not native plants but were planted by someone a long time ago, probably from seeds from their homeland, and yet have survived in the wilderness all these years. The flowers have a sweet scent that must have triggered happy memories of their homes far across the Atlantic Ocean. These same flowers are still present on many hillsides in and around Medicine Hat. 

Evangelical Cemetery . . . not far from the others shown here. This one is maintained by the family that live just down the road.

More Tall Phlox . . . colourful and fragrant in the still spring air.

- Michael Truman

Monday, 24 September 2018

Clover Lake School, Saskatchewan

Former one room school a little east of Mervin, Saskatchewan. September 4, 2018.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

North Immanuel Lutheran Church

An American pastor by the name of T.L. Rosholt from Opheim, Montana organized an congregation in 1913 of local Admiral area residents. Enough interest from the locals actually created two different groups of parishioners (North Immanuel with forty parishioners and South Immanuel with thirty-four parishioners) – partially to an influx of Norwegian settlers into the region. Church services were held in resident homes, or the local one room schoolhouse. In most cases, Norwegian speaking services were held in the morning and English speaking services in the afternoon.

Money was raised and a basement for the North Immanuel church was built in 1922. Additional fundraising in the years following raised enough so the actual church could be built in 1926. South Immanuel fundraised as well and built a new church in the spring of 1933. In July 1964 the South Immanuel church was struck by lighting and burnt down. A closed church from nearby Instow, Saskatchewan was moved onto the property. In 1966 dwindling church attendance at both churches led to the decision that North Immanuel be dissolved and that both congregations merge to form Immanuel Lutheran church and to have services in Admiral.

A Google search shows the church popping up occasionally over the years since, and still being affiliated with the Lutheran church. Some records indicate the church finally closed its doors in 2007 (as the church isn’t listed on the current Lutheran church webpage). Regardless it looks in good shape, so it may be owned by someone else.

Admiral: Prairie to Wheatfields (1978) history book. Visited in September 2017 near Admiral, Saskatchewan

- Jason Paul Sailer