|1st St. and Reimer Ave|
Steinbach Census Division
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
When the first settlers arrived from Russia, in 1874, this part of Manitoba was not open prairie like the western areas of the province. When the people came to a place where a small stream was flowing through the poplar bushes they liked the beauty of the country and decided that this was the place for their new home. When the mothers needed water to prepare meals they went to the stream and found it to be clear and clean. The stream ran over stones that were plentiful in the clear water, and they were reminded of the village in Russia, from where they had come just a few weeks before. The name of their village in the old country had been ‘Steinbach', which means ‘Stoneybrook' in German and because this place was just like the meaning of that name, settlers named their new home Steinbach.
The people had barely settled into their new homes when a small child became very ill. Because there was no doctor in their community to be called upon for help, after a few days the child died. Now the village needed a cemetery to bury the body of the child. A short distance toward the west of the trail, today this is Main Street – that ran past their homes, was a place where the ground sloped gently toward a large pond. Around the pond there were many reeds and bulrushes and on one side there were some large oak trees. The scene was not very beautiful at the time but with some careful cutting away of the underbrush and cleaning out the reeds it was soon quite a nice place. It was here that the village fathers decided to place the community's cemetery.
The original cemetery was much small then its present size. After about thirty-five years, in 1909, and the need for more room for graves, the cemetery was enlarged. The land beside the graveyard, towards Main Street, was a potatoe field and the community bought a piece of this land and expanded the cemetery. After only seven years, the need for more space was again felt, and the land toward the north of the cemetery, was the final addition to the graveyard. This is the present size of the cemetery.
The space in the middle of the graveyard where there are no tombstones is where the first burials took place. Because the settlers were generally quite poor and did not have the money to buy tombstones the graves are not marked today. Sometimes the family of the buried person marked the grave of a loved one with a wooden post, but after a short time the post was rotten and fell over. If the marker was not replaced, then the grave also was soon unmarked and over-grown with grass.
Most of the graves that are marked today are from about the year 1900 or later. Today the City of Steinbach is caring for the cemetery. They cut the grass and keep the entire grounds looking beautiful. Some graves are made pretty with flowers and shrubs but this had to be done by the family of the persons buried there. Some families do this in memory of their loved ones of yesteryear.
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