Tombstone dating back to 1900 gets facelift

The inscription on John G. Marshall’s tombstone tells what little is known about the man. Marshall was born in 1842 in Truro, N.S. and was buried in the Blackfalds Cemetery in 1900.

Ellen Miller

Ellen Miller

The inscription on John G. Marshall’s tombstone tells what little is known about the man.

Marshall was born in 1842 in Truro, N.S. and was buried in the Blackfalds Cemetery in 1900.

His monument is the oldest among the 450 headstones in the four-acre cemetery. And for that reason it was recently given new life.

In 1954, Marshall’s tombstone was one of dozens that were believed to be vandalized throughout the graveyard. The stone was broken off its base and left lying on the ground for years.

Judy Carleton, president of the Blackfalds and Area Historical Society, knows many of the family names etched on the tombstones but Marshall is not one of them. Carleton said the society wanted to restore the tombstone to honour his memory and for aesthetic purposes.

“Even though I will probably never know who he was,” said Carleton, standing in the graveyard on Broadway Avenue in Blackfalds.

Ellen Miller, society vice-president, said the cemetery stands as a reminder of the people that were part of the history of the region. Marshall missed the Blackfalds’ census in 1901.

“For some people like John Marshall, that’s all that is left,” said Miller. “It is an important part of history to keep.”

The Blackfalds Cemetery used to be outside of the town but the town has grown to where the graveyard is now surrounded by homes and businesses. The cemetery has roots pre-1900 and was kept up by different organizations until 1977 when the town took over responsibility for maintenance and upkeep. In recent years, the town has beautified the plot and added benches and an area for urns.

The society hopes to restore more tombstones in the coming months or years. The club’s mandate is to preserve, collect and educate people on Blackfalds’ history.

“A lot of people say you don’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you come from,” said Carleton. “For a long time nobody was preserving Blackfalds. Blackfalds history has been ignored for so long. That’s why I formed the society (in 2005) so we could do projects like this.”

The society is always looking for Blackfalds’ photographs, artefacts, documents to either borrow or as a donation. For more information or if you have information about Marshall, please call 403-885-4315 or visit www.blackfaldshistoricalsociety.com.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta is on pace to administer more than 300,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses per week, according to the provincial government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
One million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Alberta

Alberta hit a milestone in the fight against COVID-19 this week. As… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Interior work will start this year on Red Deer hospital project, says infrastructure minister

‘We are committed. This is a top priority,’ says Presad Panda

Even with recent restrictions due to rising COVID-19 variant case levels, about 95 per cent of businesses are open in Alberta, said Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Consistent pandemic policy has helped Alberta, premier says

Alberta fatality rate lower than Canadian average

Richie Laryea of Toronto FC, left, and Jean Meneses of Mexico's Leon battle for the ball during a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match in Leon, Mexico, in Leon, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Toronto FC hosts Club Leon in the second leg of their Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League round-of-16 tie holding a valuable away goal after a 1-1 draw last week in Mexico. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mario Armas
Injury-riddled Toronto FC dispatches Club Leon in CONCACAF Champions League play

Injury-riddled Toronto FC dispatches Club Leon in CONCACAF Champions League play

Winnipeg Jets' Dylan DeMelo (2) skates the puck around Ottawa Senators' Thomas Chabot (72) as he holds off Winnipeg Jets' Mason Appleton (22) during first-period NHL action in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Winnipeg Jets score two third-period goals to secure 3-2 victory over Ottawa Senators

Winnipeg Jets score two third-period goals to secure 3-2 victory over Ottawa Senators

Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher (25) shoots over San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Anunoby, Siakam rally Raptors past Spurs 117-112

Anunoby, Siakam rally Raptors past Spurs 117-112

John Furlong pitches a broader B.C. bid for 2030 Winter Games

John Furlong pitches a broader B.C. bid for 2030 Winter Games

New York Yankees starting pitcher Corey Kluber throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Bichette hits 2nd homer in 9th, Blue Jays beat Yankees 5-4

Bichette hits 2nd homer in 9th, Blue Jays beat Yankees 5-4

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort (5) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Jarrell Brantley (5) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Salt Lake City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Rick Bowmer
Undrafted Montreal native Dort continues to smash “glass ceilings” in NBA

Undrafted Montreal native Dort continues to smash “glass ceilings” in NBA

A man wearing a protective mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walks past banners for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, to mark 100 days before the start of the Summer Games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Eugene Hoshiko
Rings on the Horizon: Tokyo Summer Olympics hit 100 days out marker

Rings on the Horizon: Tokyo Summer Olympics hit 100 days out marker

Lethbridge Police Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh speaks during a news conference in Lethbridge, Alta., on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Rossiter
‘Right path:’ Lethbridge police release improvement plan in wake of controversies

‘Right path:’ Lethbridge police release improvement plan in wake of controversies

Most Read