The Green Valley Cemetery

‘Plus Olaf Olson’s story’

I am not sure if this Olaf Olson was a relative of our family or not, we had a few. When he was found in 1935 most of our family had already died or moved away from that part of Canada. There would not have been anybody to check on him, or know that he had died. I found this story about the unknown trapper in a Alberta history book, The Days Before Yesterday. If grandfather Ole built the cabin, that would explain how well it was put together. Ole had a son named Olaf, he would have been about that age.

At one time, the wilderness area of Alberta was home to many cousins from our family tree. Several different families came from Norway in the late 1800s. Most of them went to Michigan first and worked in the copper mines. Some stayed there while others moved to Minnesota, working in the iron mines. They saved money. Most had the same goal, to reach Dakota Territory and become farmers. There was rich land for homesteaders to claim. Almost everyone encountered hunger, dry years, prairie fires, and unimaginable hardships: in the bitter cold windswept plains of the Dakotas. Circumstances continued driving them northward until they reached the last frontier in Alberta, Canada.

Rose and I went to Canada in 1979 to visit the remaining relatives living at Rocky Mountain House Alberta. There was only 1 cousin still living there at that time. Many had passed away years before or scattered all over Canada and the United States to attend college or find employment.

I decided to share this story about the Green Valley Cemetery. One of the cousins donated land from his farm to start a family Cemetery. Eston Olson was the first person to be buried there in 1911. There were no roads at that time, only trails. Travel was difficult to impossible most of the time.

There was no church or building to meet in. These families brought their food with them and had a Cemetery picnic, burial on the day of a funeral, weather permitting.

The other picture showed my great grandfather Ole Olson’s funeral in 1925. You can see the reins from the horses on the ground, used to lower the casket into the grave. I noticed a hole got gnawed in one corner of the wooden coffin. That gives me the feeling my grandpa was not buried alone! The cemetery became vandalized in later years before the government protected the land. There were about thirty people buried there. Monuments got placed in the city Cemetery.


Eston Olson
Son of Ole Estensen Hoel and Ingebor Olsdatter. 
Husband of Maria Kaisa Johansdatter Olson Hoel.
Father of : Edvard, Ingaborg, Ole, Ida, Annie, Hedwig, Hattie, and Felix.

Ole’s funeral.
Green Valley Cemetery.
This stone is in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.

Hunger on Earth

“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” “Native American proverb”

Hunger on Earth

Man has always felt he has the power to outwit nature, He often does things his way, instead of the way nature would dictate. In the early pioneer days on the US plains, times were very hard. The biggest fear was how to survive the long, dreary, cold and hungry first winter. There was very little food, most of the flour was full of weevils. The busy, bronze, bold, bugs in some flour bags got so active it became hard to determine what there was more of, flour, or weevils.

Man, with his infinite wisdom devised a flour sifter to separate the bugs from the flour. The weevils got quickly thrown out into the howling wind, of a frigid, winter day. The bugs were happily received with great delight by the snowbirds. They thrived on them, thanking nature with happy songs.

The poor pioneers might have chosen to leave the weevils in the flour, pretended to be eating cracked wheat bread and the extra protein may have helped some survive that first nasty winter.

The Internet is filled with sites on how to survive by eating insects, hope we don’t destroy this planet to the point there will be no insects left to eat.

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

Syringomyelia Hand Damage

Syringomyelia has resided in my spinal cord for about 50 years. The doctors say it was from an original spinal cord injury 55 years ago. Neurologist have found little evidence to show the disease is hereditary.

I have just found evidence from an old picture showing my great-grandfather had syringomyelia damage to his right hand. It looks exactly like it.

He was born in 1842 and died in 1925 The picture of his right hand look exactly like someone who has had siringomielia long-term. My hands are starting to take on those changes.

I have almost made it to my 79th birthday. I do feel a little better now knowing that great-grandfather lived to be 83.

Siringomielia was considered very rare, until the invention of the MRI machine. It is much easier to diagnose now. My symptoms got progressively worse for almost 20 years before I was diagnosed. It made the left side of my body numb, even the left side of my tongue. The first drain shunt was placed in my spine in 1985 to relieve pressure and drain excess spinal fluid. That helped stop some pain and slow the nerve damage. Another drain shunt was put in 3 years ago, the pressure is still being controlled. My great-grandfather had none of these preventative treatments available. The pain he endured must have been unbearable at times. How he could have lived that many years is a true miracle! He was mostly Norwegian but must have also inherited Sisu from the Finlander side of the tree.

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

“Google Syringomyelia damage images”
“Google images”
“Ole Olson Hoel’s right hand”
Ole Olson and his caregivers at Rocky Mountain House Alberta, Circa 1924″

I have looked at this old picture many times but never zoomed in on his hands. I wanted to see if he was holding a bible, or a KENO ticket. I’m glad I did, because it looks like my syringomyelia was inherited from him. That is not something to be happy about inheriting. I think he gave me a large portion of his Grit and Sisu, that has helped me cope with the dreaded disease.

The top two pictures are from Google Images, showing the hands of syringomyelia victims. There were several pages of hands in different stages of damage or deterioration.

The golfer Bobby Jones also had syringomyelia and I believe he lived to be almost 80, so it’s not always a death sentence. A definition is not easy to describe as it affects each person differently. It is a genuine neurogenic nightmare for both the doctor and patient. A victim might imagine some evil power placed a curse on them.

You can find out more information about syringomyelia at this website.

https://asap.org/