by The Heritage Commission of Rossland
The Heritage Commission of Rossland has been working on a plan to restore the Columbia Cemetery.
Nestled in Happy Valley, just above Trail’s Mountain View cemetery, the Columbia Cemetery dates back to 1899.
The cemetery has officially been closed since 1985 but remains an important heritage site for the community.
Over the years many of the monuments and plot markers have fallen into a state of disrepair.
On Saturday, June 18, the heritage commission had 12 volunteers show up to clear moss and dirt off the cribbing so David St. Denis, who was hired to clean the tombstones, could make some major progress on restoration of the stonework.
St. Denis tagged in another local, Owen of Powder Pig Contracting, to do the heavy lifting for some of the monuments that had toppled from their bases.
The Heritage Commission is very pleased with the work completed and looks forward to working with these contractors in the future as budget allows.
Over 1000 Rosslanders have been buried in this cemetery with burial records kept until the 1960s.
These monuments and plaques are a visual reminder of those that came before us and helped create and settle this community.
The heritage commission has also installed signage to recognize the Chinese burials in Block 6 even though the majority of bodies were disinterred and sent back to China.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Columbia Cemetery, take a look at the heritage commission website www.heritagerossland.com.
You can also read all about it in the Cemeteries of Rossland book available for purchase at the Gold Rush Bookstore, Crockett Books and Kootenay Gateway.
Funding for the restoration came from the City of Rossland and the Regional District Kootenay Boundary.