Barney’s Gulch was the second cemetery serving the community of Stewart, BC. It was in operation from about 1923 and to 1961. This cemetery no longer exists. There are only a few burial records and several differing plot maps. Information about this cemetery came 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, ”In the late 1920's the town established another cemetery on the valley floor beside Barney’s Gulch Creek, located two miles outside of town. It was a well-organized place, with special sections for members of the local Legion, Moose Lodge, and Masonic Lodge.”
In August 2016 I came across a letter in the District Offices dated 17 Dec 1954 (abstract) “re: Barney’s Gulch, Village of Stewart, Lot 792: the south end of the cemetery and extending on to Lot 792 was covered with boulders and course gravel about 7 years ago (c1944) to a depth exceeding the highest stone. The north end dips low & tends to become swampy & therefore unsuitable.”
In a Cemetery Report document written by L.M. Nash and found at the Stewart Museum, regarding Cemetery #2, referred to as Barney’s Gulch, Stewart, BC, he reported that “in Oct 1961 a rock and mud slide buried Barney’s Gulch, some say under 8 feet.” Various reports and individuals place the depth of the slide from 8 to 30 feet. As it stands today (2016) nothing remains, all of it buried. All that marks the site, located behind the local dump, is a sign telling people to stay out, and rightly so.
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 commencement date for burials in Barney’s Gulch was set at 1923. This was based on the fact that a headstone dated 1923 was found at the site after it was completely buried under a huge rock and mud slide in 1961. The cemetery site was never used again. In 1960 plans were already underway for the establishment of the Ward’s Pass cemetery, which will be found in Find A Grave.
I think it goes without saying that there may have been others buried here, given the lack of burial records. 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 Barney’s Gulch 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: #2625346
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