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Tour of Elmwood Cemetery slated

After clamour, NEWHS to tour historical site

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North East Winnipeg Historical Society historian Jim Smith is shown by the Pitblado marker in Elmwood Cemetery.

PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON Enlarge Image

North East Winnipeg Historical Society historian Jim Smith is shown by the Pitblado marker in Elmwood Cemetery. Photo Store

If exploring cemeteries doesn’t give you the willies, the North East Winnipeg Historical Society (NEWHS) has the event for you.

The group is organizing a "sitting tour" of the Elmwood Cemetery on Aug. 24 at 1 p.m.

Historian Jim Smith will discuss 48 prominent people who are buried in and around section 6A of the 36-acre cemetery over a megaphone, so visitors will be able to wander the small patch of the section or stay in one spot if they are so inclined.

Some of the people whose history will be discussed include Paulin’s Chocolate Puffs manufacturer John Hudson Chambers, journalist and MP Robert Lorne Richardson, and Arctic Ice Company businessmen Charles and Frederick McNaughton. One visit will be made just across the way from 6A, to see the resting spot of former premier Duff Roblin, who died in 2010.

"They were well-known at the time, but now, people don’t remember them," Smith said of some of those who will be discussed.

NEWHS publicity chair Donna Cudmore explained tour attendees have long clamoured for a tour of the cemetery, but the group was initially at a loss of where to start. The NEWHS was able to get a copy of the list with all of those buried in Elmwood, and cross-referenced the list with the Manitoba Historical Society’s list of memorable Manitobans. She added it was beneficial to have a cluster of noteworthy people together to make logistics easier as opposed to wandering all over the cemetery.

Cudmore added they will have the binder of the complete alphabetical listing of those buried in the cemetery, so those attending the tour can seek out ancestors. She hopes having the list in tow will encourage people to share any further information they have.

"That’s the other aspect of what we’re trying to do — collect the stories," Cudmore said. "It collects the history for the area and what it was like living in this area."

To get to Section 6A, take the entrance off Hespeler Avenue, and take the second left turn upon entering the cemetery. The group will be set up near the Pitblado marker, where four family members are buried.

Cudmore said other similar tours of other sections of the cemetery, which was the first non-denominational cemetery in western Canada when it opened in 1902, have been discussed by the organization.

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