Rose and I went to Canada in 1979 to visit the remaining relatives living at Rocky Mountain House Alberta. There were only 2 cousins still living there at that time. Many had passed away years before or scattered all over Canada. In later years some moved to the United States to attend college or find employment.
At one time the wilderness area of Alberta was filled with cousins from our family tree. Many different families came from Norway in the late 1800. Most of them went to Michigan first and worked in the copper mines. Some stayed there 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 on the bitter cold, windswept plains of the Dakotas. Circumstances continued driving them northward until they reached the last frontier in Alberta Canada.
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. The following pictures show the people attending Eston’s funeral. 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 shows 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 had been gnawed in one corner of the wooden casket. That gives me the feeling my grandpa was not buried alone! The cemetery became vandalized in later years, before the land was protected by the government. There were about thirty people buried there, the remains are still at that location. Monuments were placed in the city Cemetery.