Where history lays at rest

Dead men do tell tales. The 40 Red Deer Cemetery grave markers in the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery’s Cemetery Walking Tour provide insight into the city and district over nearly 115 years.

Rod Trentham of the Red Deer and District Museum leads one group as historian Michael Dawe leads another in the background.

Dead men do tell tales.

The 40 Red Deer Cemetery grave markers in the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery’s Cemetery Walking Tour provide insight into the city and district over nearly 115 years.

Historian Michael Dawe, who conducts the 90-minute tours with museum programs co-ordinator Rod Trentham, said markers were chosen to represent the area and its people.

“Some are from prominent families, some are unique stones and some are just sad stories of people passing. You can learn a lot about a community by walking through its cemetery.”

Eras of Canadian life, such as the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic and both world wars, are also marked.

The city’s first cemetery was at the Taylor Drive and 43rd Street intersection. Its successor atop Michener Hill was donated to the Methodist Church by John Jost Gaetz in 1893. In 1907, the municipality took over operations. About 6,000 people are buried there and unless a family plot has space, burials now occur at Alto Reste Cemetery just east of the city.

Demand for this year’s tours is high. Although two slated for next Sunday filled quickly, the museum publishes a low-cost booklet complete with map so tourists can guide themselves.

The museum can be contacted at 403-309-8405 or online at www.reddeermuseum.com

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