Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 141 years

MHS Tour of Historic St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery

When: Thursday, 30 September 2010, 2:00 PM

It is Winnipeg’s largest gathering of movers and shakers. Except, they’re not moving and shaking anymore. They’re buried at St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery, off Main Street in Winnipeg’s North End. Walk through the city’s most interesting cemetery during a guided tour arranged by the Manitoba Historical Society. It starts at 2 pm, Thursday, 30 September and will last about an hour and a half. The tour includes a stop at the historic Cathedral church and will finish with tea or coffee.

Walking the cemetery’s grass pathways under huge shade trees, you can easily trace some of Manitoba’s history–HBC factors; early pioneers including John Inkster, whose house is a museum at Seven Oaks, John Schultz, a big thorn in the side of Louis Riel, and John Norquay, a 300-pound Métis and an early Manitoba premier who spoke in a “soft, clear, musical voice.” St. John’s is the final resting place for Augustus Nanton, an investment banker who personally patrolled his big Roslyn Road estate during the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike; the Ashdowns; and William Alloway, an active dealer in real estate, who established the Winnipeg Foundation.

The first burial at St. John’s was in 1812. Lord Selkirk met his settlers there in 1817. Four churches have occupied the site, the first in 1822 and the present one in 1926. A wide variety of famous people are buried at St. John’s including journalists, doctors, politicians, lawyers, jurists, preachers, veterans of the 1885 fight at Fish Creek and an 1897 monument to a mother from “her wandering boy.”

The tour is free, but donations are welcome. Receipts are given for gifts of $10 or more. This is a “rain or shine” event. Since the size of the tour is limited, please call Carl James at 204-631-5971 to reserve.

Some of the many noteworthy grave monuments in the St. John’s Cemetery:

J. H. Ashdown

John Norquay

Memorial to soldiers killed at
Batoche and Fish Creek,

Thomas Bunn

James Thomson

Photo source: Carl James

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Page revised: 1 August 2010

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