Bear River Cemetery

Photo added by Mary Trace

Bear River Cemetery

Stewart, Kitimat-Stikine Regional District, British Columbia, Canada Add to Map
Memorials 29 added

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Bear River Cemetery was the first cemetery serving the community of Stewart, BC. It was in operation from about 1910 to about 1922. This cemetery no longer exists. There are no burial records, plots maps or known legal description for it. The only information found regarding its location comes from Ian McLeod’s book, “Prospectors, Promoters & Hard Rock Miners.” Ian was born in Stewart in 1927 and spent most of his life there. He was a very prominent citizen and knew everyone.

According to him, “Bear River Cemetery was located 1000 yards above the Bear River Bridge. The first cemetery was located on the east side of Bear River about a thousand yards above the Bear River bridge. About 6 wooden slabs memorialized people whose names were not familiar to me. When I last saw it I was about ten years old (c1937) and the river was fast eroding the land beside the cemetery.” When Ian last saw the cemetery, in the mid-1940's, everything had been washed away by the river.

The Bear River bridge is on Highway 37A at the edge of the town of Stewart; the only road in and out of the community.

For six years, from 2011, I have been researching the deaths of the residents of the Portland Canal District (Stewart, BC & Hyder, AK). I produced a book of deaths called “People of the Portland Canal District” which is housed at the Stewart Museum. Many records were consulted to produce this work - newspapers, early Police Logs, Voter’s Lists, Census records and the BC Death registrations, to name a few.

Having learned of the loss of the two earliest cemeteries serving Stewart every effort was made to determine where everyone was buried. The cut off date for burials in Bear River was set at 1922. This was based on the fact that a headstone dated 1923 was found at the Barney’s Gulch cemetery site (Stewart’s 2nd cemetery) when it was completely buried under a huge rock and mud slide in 1961. It is doubtful this cemetery was ever used after 1922 considering the problems caused by the river.

I think it goes without saying that there may have been others buried here that available records did not reveal. If you know of anyone not on this listing please contact me, providing full details. If you feel you are connected to anyone known to be buried in Bear River I would be more than glad to provide you with what information I might have in my book. I would also be happy to transfer the memorial to you if you wish. Please contact me with details of your request. . . Mary Trace

  • Added: 16 Oct 2016
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2625320