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The first Graveyard in
The Grace Pioneer Cemetery
NW 1/2-Sec 13-Twp 2-Rge 8-West 2nd
Located SE of the Village at that time
around 1918 the Estevan City Cemetery was started.
Some of the graves were moved, some remained.
Estevan City Cemetery
NW 1/4 Sec 27-Twp 2- Rge 8- West 2nd Meridian
Lat- 49° 09' 36.79 North
Long- 103° 00' 18.25 West
Owned by the City of Estevan
Cemetery Inquiries -- 634-1880
Any inquiries for grave
go to the Leisure Services office
in the Library /Swimming Pool complex,
all the records are computerized,
and they were kind enough to provide a
map with the grave location noted.
Located north of
is the 2nd oldest graveyard in Estevan
During the summer months of 1968 and 1969
I worked for the City Recreation and Parks Department
For a real good foreman, named Tommy Graham.
My job along with others in the crew,
to cut the grass at this Cemetery, for one place,
but also to hand dig graves here.
Death seems to always occur in 3's,
when we had one, we knew 2 more followed.
If the burial was in sections 12, 13, 2, 3 or 4
in the map above, usually the backhoe was used.
But any old family plots in sections 5 to 10
that had the Cement curbing, and huge headstones,
with plots already occupied, had to be dug by hand.
Anyone that has dug a hole in this part of Saskatchewan,
knows the conditions. It wasn't easy. clay, and rocks.
Pick and shovel all the way down. 2 men in the hole.
The opening had to be exactly 4 x 8 feet rectangle shape,
with straight up and down walls, down to an exact depth of 6 feet.
This was measured by us and the funeral directors at the time.
It had to be right, as a rough pine box was lowered into the hole,
which would hold the casket.
They would supply the artificial grass to cover the dirt mound,
and the side of the grave.
Then the lowering mechanism was placed over this.
After the burial, the funeral director would lead the mourners away,
and circle back around, to supervise the start of the burial.
They had to watch us nail the top of the pine box on,
then cover the lid completely with dirt, before they could leave.
We then would finish shovelling the dirt in,
which was easier than digging it out.
I doubt if there are anymore open plots in this area,
and not many hand dug graves occur in this Cemetery anymore.
It was an experience of a lifetime.
What amazed me, the records for the cemetery at that time,
were on a rolled up Venetian blind, used to darken your window.
And the records were not that great, as we found out one day.
We had a burial in Section 7 I think it was, and there was 3 plots,
circled by cement of course, and surrounded by others,
with only 4-5 feet walkways between them.
In the plot on one end was a lilac bush about 10 feet tall.
The map showed 2 buried, and the open plot was supposed to be
the plot on the opposite end from the tree.
Me and the other guy, started to dig, and after 3 feet of hard
my shovel hit what sounded like a metal object.
after a few more shovel fulls, we realized we hit an occupied plot,
and it was a copper metal box, used by some to repel intruding
It scared the hell out of me, and you never seen a grave get filled
It turned out the unused plot was under the tree. another
In those days I actually had abs!!
Cutting the grass was
No gas weed whippers in those days,
All this area was cut by hand mowers,
and hand trimmed around the cement borders.
all of this in 100 degree summer weather I might add.
there was only a few trees for shade.
I think we did a good job,
and had respect for those that are buried there.
As most others in Estevan
some of my family is buried there
GUSTAV (GUSS) AUGUST
AMALIE (MAE) (MAY)
They say you can find Humour
anywhere if you are looking for it,
and even in this sombre place, I used to stop and read this Epitaph
in section 5, I think it is, and it would bring a grin to my face.
I think it is one of the better ones I have seen
and would maybe stop a lot of wars, if the words were listened to
It is a bit faded, so mouse over the picture for the transcription.
The 3rd Cemetery in the area
Memorial Gardens Cemetery
SW 1/4 Sec 5, Twp 3-
Rge 8- West of the 2nd Meridian
3 miles west of Estevan, south side of highway 39
Lat- 49° 10' 45.78 North
Long- 103° 03' 27.04 West
1506 4th St
Estevan SK, S4A 0X6
This Cemetery and the Orsted Funeral Home in Estevan,
are now owned by the conglomerate Loewen Group Inc.
who seem to be buying up all the Funeral Homes,
and now these private Cemeteries also,
which I don't think in my simple mind,
is a good thing for John Q Public.
They will not be in the business to loose money!
I have buried Uncles and Aunts, and
and most important to me,
My Dad and My Mom are here.
My Mom and Dad,
Phil and Helen (nee Gesell) Gent
EDWARD (ED) HERMANN GESELL
|no picture of
Goody's headstone yet
GUDRUN (GOODY) Gesell, nee HOIUM
My Aunt, wife of Ed Gesell
ARTHUR RAYMOND (RAY) LEE
KLARA MARIA Lee, nee GESELL
My Uncle and Aunt
NELS LENNART BACKMAN
EMILIE ELISABETH BACKMAN, nee GESELL
My Uncle and Aunt
Cathy Lynn Backman
ROY ARNOLD BACKMAN
My Uncle, father to Cathy
Now some nice people a few
like Rosemary Mack, took many hours,
and transcribed the records for these Cemeteries
I thank her and others for doing that.
I now hear Rosemary passed
away in 2009,
and am very sorry to hear that.
After doing Genealogy for years now,
and working in the Cemetery for many months,
it wasn't until today, Good Friday, March 21, 2008
that I realized twins, brother and sister to my Mom,
are buried in the Estevan City Cemetery.
The name was spelled incorrectly in the records,
was one reason I missed it I guess.
I was also incorrectly told they were buried on a farm north of
Shows how important these records are.
Please check them out,
Note, indexes on Rootsweb now also
and I see no credit is given to the source of the records??
see note below---
NOTE- these are NOT MY
I don't and can't take credit for any of them.
Grace Pioneer Cemetery on Rootsweb
Estevan City Cemetery on Rootsweb
Souris Valley Cemetery on Rootsweb
- 4th Street
Estevan, SK S4A 0X6
(former Orsted Funeral Home building