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.