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Tuesday, 05 July 2011 17:21

Pincher Creek Graveyard tour lit by July full moon

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By Susan Quinlan
Pincher Creek
Although some may hold superstitions related to the full moon, avoiding walks through graveyards fearing a werewolf encounter, others relish the edginess created by the lunar event.

On July 15, the pioneer graveyard in Pincher Creek will be cast in a lunar glow and Farley Wuth, curator of Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village, will tour the graveyard. He invites others to join him just before midnight.

“Two things inspired the graveyard tour: we’re interested in preserving the history of the frontier families in the Pincher Creek area and we wanted to think outside the museum box, and do an historical activity outside of those we usually do.”

For the first of what will likely become an annual event, Wuth said they’re concentrating on the pioneer graveyard located on the north hill in town where residents were buried from 1880 through to the First World War.

“It was the original public cemetery in Pincher Creek, used for people that didn’t belong to the town’s two churches.”

More than 200 are buried in the pioneer cemetery. If one were to count the headstones they’d come up a bit short.

“Part of the folklore is that some of the records were lost over the years so there’s no definite count, but 200 names are on the plaque outside the graveyard.”

Wuth said local pioneers took on the task of creating the record in the 1980s, before they too passed and the information was lost forever.

As to who now rests at the site, Wuth said a number of the town’s forefathers were interred and he suspects those joining him for the tour will find their stories interesting. Those joining Wuth will visit the gravesites of the Morden’s, the area’s first ranching family.

“They were the first family to settle here and established the Northwest Mounted Police horse ranch in 1878.”

The family built a log house along the creek, and later, a brick home that still stands today, said Wuth. It was while crossing a footbridge joining the two properties that Alberta Morden fell into an unusually turbulent Pincher Creek and was swept away.
“We’ll be investigating ghost sitings on July 16; I haven’t had any thus far, but there may be one appear between now and then.”
The Historical Graveyard Tour gets underway at the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village on Friday, July 15 at
10 p.m. and runs until midnight.

The cost is $10 per person. Participants are asked to dress warmly and wear good walking shoes.

Advance booking is recommended. For information, phone 403-627-3684.

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