District of Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen recently photographed the town’s original cemetery — now completely overgrown — among the trails behind the Vanderhoof Museum and Visitor Centre. (Gerry Thiessen photo)

District of Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen recently photographed the town’s original cemetery — now completely overgrown — among the trails behind the Vanderhoof Museum and Visitor Centre. (Gerry Thiessen photo)

Mayor, historical society examine ways to mark Vanderhoof’s original cemetery

“It is a part of our history and we don’t want that history to evaporate,” Thiessen said.

District of Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen is hoping to breathe some new life into the town’s first cemetery.

Located on the original road to Saik’uz First Nation among the trails behind the Vanderhoof Museum and Visitor Centre, the cemetry — now completely overgrown, however, still occupied by the dead — was used for a 20- to 25-year period from about 1915 to 1939.

While many of the graves were exhumed and taken to the current Vanderhoof Cemetery, roughly a dozen still remain, Thiessen said.

“It is a part of our history and we don’t want that history to evaporate,” Thiessen said. “To me, I’d like to fix it up, and have it marked up in some way so people know it’s still there.”

Thiessen plans to work with the Nechako Valley Historical Society in the spring to come up with a plan to clean up the area and install some form of fencing, or marking, to identify the location.

READ MORE: Two books about Vanderhoof nominated for awards

“This is part of our history we need to protect, as it is over 100 years old,” Thissen said, adding he was first informed of the graveyard by late community member Jim Simonsen roughly 12 years ago when he was elected as mayor. “I didn’t know anything about it at the time. Jim told me he had a brother who had passed away and he was buried there, and another friend of mine also said his grandfather was buried there.”

After learning of the cemetery, Thiessen took members of council and district staff for a walk up the road to show them the cemetery site.

He said there are no concrete or cement gravestones — only wooden markings that are now decaying.

“After Jim had showed it to me and I’d shown the area to people, a group of Katimavik students came to town and were doing some work,” he said.

“At that time we got them to go in and try to clear a way out from the gravesites — some of the deadfall and debris that was there — but it was never properly identified. It would just be really nice to have something there — nothing over the top fancy — just something simple.”



greg.sabatino@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

graveyardnorthernbc

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Gerry Thiessen photo

Gerry Thiessen photo

Gerry Thiessen photo

Just Posted

Permission to develop a residential treatment centre providing mental health and addiction recovery is being sought at the Tachick Lake Resort. (Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako photo)
Treatment centre eyed at Tachick Lake Resort near Vanderhoof

Carrier Sekani Family Services awaiting adoption of rezoning bylaw

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

The North Country Inn and Restaurant in Vanderhoof notified the public Friday morning of a positive, COVID-19 case for one of its workers. (Facebook photo)
North Country Inn and Restaurant employee tests positive for COVID-19

The North Country Inn and Restaurant said the employee had not been in contact with its patrons

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

The grey region of this chart shows the growth of untraced infection, due to lack of information on potential sources. With added staff and reorganization, the gap is stabilized, Dr. Bonnie Henry says. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 tracing to keep up with surging cases

People now notified of test results by text message

Most Read