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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Livingstone Cemetery tour hosted by KBPV Curator Farley Wuth

KBPV Curator Farley Wuth
Toni Lucas - Talking Tombstones was a graveyard tour of Livingstone Cemetery led by Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village (KBPV) Curator Farley Wuth on the evening of Monday, August 21. Over 300 people are interred at the Livingstone Cemetery. The tour highlighted the lives of 24 pioneers that helped shape the beginnings of Lundbreck and area. The tour moved from marker to marker under the cover of night. Standing beside the grave sites, volunteers gave a summary of the life of early settlers. Wuth tried to create a tour that had a wide ranging representation of early life in a then fledgling community.


KBPV staff member Josh Mackenzie
 There were stories of farmers and ranchers, business men, homesteading pioneers, war veterans, even one Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. There were long lives and tragic deaths represented. Their stories reminded us they were real people with hopes, dreams, hardships and obstacles. These people were family members, mothers, fathers, and community builders.

KBPV staff member Nicole Dyrkacz
There were stories of farmers and ranchers, business men, homesteading pioneers, war veterans, even one Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. There were long lives and tragic deaths represented. Their stories reminded us they were real people with hopes, dreams, hardships and obstacles. These people were family members, mothers, fathers, and community builders.

Volunteer reader Andrew McCutcheon of the Pincher Creek Echo
The nighttime setting reminded people that then, the luxury of light at night came by fire. Walking or a horse was the common mode of travel. Communication over distance was often physically transported by men on horseback or wagon, instead of the convenience of a phone you can carry on yourself at all times. Cross country trips were on the railways, in canoes, or by the feet of two or four legged creatures. A trip into town was by wagon or on a horse out in the elements. Entertainment was not delivered by a screen but created by the people themselves. Clothing was often sewn by hand.

KBPV staff member Nicole Dyrkacz

How many ways the essence of our lives have changed, yet much remains the same. We meet people and make friends throughout our lives. We fall in love and raise our families. We find or create jobs where we can support ourselves and adapt to changes around us. Our day to day lives are highlighted by weddings, graduations, new jobs, gatherings, holidays, and yes, even funerals.  We find ways to face challenges daily, just as those pioneers that broke the ground before us did.


These annual tours seem to hold some magic every time. The scheduled full moon was not visible at any time during this tour and the absence was noted. However one person by mischance thought the tour would occur during the day.  This man has family represented in the tour and was at the graveyard visiting his ancestors during the time of the start of the solar eclipse, a lunar event which has held sway with celestial magic throughout the history of man. 

Volunteer reader Toni Lucas
The evening ended with Wuth requesting that everyone bow their heads and give a moment of reflective thought and silence for those who were visited and came before us carving a path in the past here, in what was then a new world. The coyotes and crickets who had been making themselves heard through their song throughout the evening honoured the moment of silence along with the humans, eerie as that may be.


The focus was on the pioneers of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some of the surnames of the families represented included: Burles, Crayford, Dejax, Elton, Gillingham, Guitard, Gunn, Hayden, Lynch-Staunton, Milvain, Mowat, Nelson, O'Rourke, Owen, Pettit, Porter, Robinson, Rowe, Rutledge, Schambron, Simister, Trist, and Wilson.




















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