May 8th, 2019 ~ Vol. 89 No. 19
A Guide to Local Cemeteries
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
John Kinnear photo
The Crowsnest Museum held a book launch and signing for Ian McKenzie’s book, A Guide to the Heritage Cemeteries of Crowsnest Pass. The book provides locations of the cemeteries and also includes information on some of the people buried in these cemeteries.
David Selles
Pass Herald Reporter
A new tool has been created to help guide visitors through the 12 heritage cemeteries of the Crowsnest Pass.

Ian McKenzie launched his first book at the Crowsnest Museum on Wednesday May 1st titled Guide to the Heritage Cemeteries of the Crowsnest Pass.

McKenzie has previously researched and written papers and articles on other Pass history topics but brought this project a step further than some of his previous work.

“Originally I was going to make a nice pamphlet. Any time I worked on it, it kept getting bigger. It got to the point where I had to stop calling it a pamphlet. I didn't know what to call it. So I started calling it a booklet but finally when I had to make a table of contents for it, I said it's probably a book,” said McKenzie.

The idea for this book came from McKenzie not wanting the history of regular residents to be forgotten.

“I just think that there are so many people that are forgotten by history. Those are the ordinary people, not the famous people or the special people just the ordinary everyday people that really helped create the Crowsnest Pass. Some people who were buried in our cemeteries we know very little about. Sometimes all we know is what was written in the newspapers.”
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McKenzie says his unique perspective played a role in how the book turned out.

“I'm not from the Pass so my perspective on these things is different than people who were born here. There are some pluses to that and some minuses as well. I did this book from the perspective of a visitor, which is probably not as easy to imagine if you were born here. One of the first things I did when I set out to do this book is I actually visited each cemetery with a fresh set of eyes saying, ‘if I was a visitor, what would I want to know?’”

McKenzie says the book can be read on it’s own but that it’s best utilized when using it while visiting a cemetery.

“It’s a guidebook. The idea is that you take it into the cemetery and use it as a tool to help a person enjoy the cemeteries.”

The stories that are in the book of people in these cemeteries are ones that McKenzie said he found interesting and says some of these stories leave the reader with a bit of research to do if they want to find out all the information.
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“I took some things that I ought to have expanded on but didn't. For example, I mention a person who's house is still standing in the Crowsnest Pass but I don't say where it is so it leaves the reader a little bit to dig into and research on their own.”

McKenzie says he was also surprised by some of the sheer numbers of young people died in the Pass and how many of them were miners.

“The first thing that strikes you is how many people died at a young age between 20-35. There are a lot of them in our cemeteries. A lot of them died in mines, and we know that, but when you actually go through a cemetery and look at the descriptions on the stone it is amazing how many people died in the mines here. It's actually quite shocking.”

After completing this book, McKenzie says there was a lot for him to learn and that there are still many things he doesn’t know but isn’t sure if he’ll do another book.

The sales made from the book will be given to the Crowsnest Historical Society as well and are available for purchase at the Crowsnest Museum.
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May 8th, 2019 ~ Vol. 89 No. 19
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