- Bryan Watson
2022 Tour: RM of Fertile Belt
On Saturday, June 25, members of The Heritage Cemeteries Project, Inc. hosted a tour of selected cemeteries in the RM of Fertile Belt. Braving the rain, mosquitoes, and wood ticks, the group assembled at 9AM at the Churchbridge Town Cemetery, before heading out to visit the two Kinbrae cemeteries.
Here, we see the group gathered at the entrance to the St. Stephen's Anglican Cemetery at Kinbrae.
After leaving Kinbrae, the tour stopped to appreciate the roadside memorial for the first Kinbrae post office, before continuing on to make brief stops at Sunnyside and Llewellyn cemeteries. Although just outside the RM boundary, these cemeteries proved to be quite interesting.
From there, the journey continued to Bangor, where the group was welcomed by Brian Jones, who graciously opened the hall so that members of the tour could take a short break from the weather and enjoy lunch together.
After the break, the tour continued with a visit to St. Michael’s church and cemetery, where the church was opened for the group by Gordon and Sharon Spokes. Before leaving Bangor, a short visit was made at the Bangor Community Cemetery, and then it was off to Atwater.
The tour group began its time in Atwater by stopping at the Kristiana Lutheran Cemetery, and then moving on to the Atwater Community Cemetery. Upon entering this cemetery, visitors are drawn to the center monument, complete with a small bridge and beautiful floral arrangement.
While in Atwater, Edgar Dutchek opened Kristiana Lutheran Church for the group to enjoy. As well, Barry and Glenna Griffith made the hall available for another brief break.
The tour then headed south toward Stockholm, where they took in both the St. Elizabeth of Hungary cemetery as well as the Stockholm Village Cemetery.
The next stop was very interesting, as the group visited the single burial site of David Shoestrom (or Sandstrom). Mr. Shoestrom had made an agreement to sell his land to the wildlife federation in return for being buried at the site.
Continuing on from there, the tour zig-zagged west to Spruce Home Baptist Cemetery, where tour members enjoyed ringing the fabulous church bell that is set out as a monument.
After taking a few minutes at Spruce Home, the group headed back east to enjoy the breathtaking New Stockholm Evangelical Lutheran Church and its massive stained glass windows.
A short jaunt from this church brought the tour to the Evangelical Mission Church.
From there, the group found its way to the Kolin United Church Cemetery and monument, then to the Esterhaz cairn and school, and then to the site of the very first cemetery in the area, which is actually unmarked.
Finally, the tour ended at the historic Kaposvar Church and Cemetery (Our Lady of Assumption Roman Catholic Cemetery). Once again, the group was treated to amazing history and architecture.
By that time, our wet feet and empty stomachs were telling us that it was time to call it a day, as we had been on the go for 8 hours. Although we had to cut our tour short because of time and fatigue, we would also like to thank Grant Forster for being willing to help us out with a rest break in Esterhazy, as well as several other people who consulted with us, plotted maps, or otherwise made our day possible!
HCP wishes to thank all those who helped with and/or participated in the tour in any way.