Cemeteries and Lethbridge History

A cemetery has as a primary purpose of commemoration of the lives of individuals. It is a place of respect and memory and the concerns of family members and the community must be considered when activities are done in a cemetery. People want to be remembered and cemeteries are a place where we go to honour our Ancestors.

Through the cemetery we are linked to the people of the past. We develop and experience a sense of historic connectivity.

Cemeteries provide multiple perspectives of the past – showing us the lives of the rich and the poor; of various ethnic groups; of recent immigrants and long-established families; and of men, women and children. Cemeteries democratize history – showing us all of the stories of the community.

Cemeteries provide a quiet place to contemplate history and our place in it. They allow us to do so surrounded by art and design which reflect changing methods and material. Cemeteries are also part of the green spaces/open spaces of a community. In many communities, including Lethbridge, cemeteries are seen as part of the park system and are considered a “feature park” where people can enjoy trees, grass and nature.

Cemeteries are in many ways the most tangible reminder of past generations. They provide us very tangible ways to understand the lives of the people of the past. As our cemeteries get older, they develop another role related to their importance as an educational and historical resource.

Cemeteries also provide us a resource where we can develop our historical and critical thinking skills. The stories of epidemics and disasters, of marriages and children, of economic booms and busts and of wars and peace are all told in the cemetery – if we learn how to read and collect the evidence.
Cemeteries provide a way to get students active in their community and to recognize the history that surrounds them.

Be part of the Galt Museum & Archives Summer Cemetery Tours. Enjoy this guided historical walking tours of St. Patrick’s and Mountain View Cemetery. Tickets are $4 each; $3 for Galt pass holders. Visit www.galtmuseum.com for dates, times and more information.