Within ten years of the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1898, a dozen coal-mining settlements were underway.  Most had their own cemeteries, and some had more than one, which means that there are a lot of cemeteries to visit in the Pass!  The dangers of underground mining a hundred years ago and the hard life of the coal miner meant that the cemeteries of the Pass began to fill somewhat earlier than you might find in more genteel communities.

Most of the cemeteries in the Crowsnest Pass are over a hundred years old, although some of the older burials are no longer marked.  Catholics had their own cemeteries, or sections within cemeteries, usually named after the local Catholic church.  Non-Catholic cemeteries are sometimes called Union cemeteries, a reference to the cooperation between Protestant denominations which often shared church buildings and sometimes even ministers.

You can find and explore some of the historic cemeteries of the Crowsnest Pass using our free self-guiding pamphlet, available at the Crowsnest Museum.  Or you can download it here; it is set up for double-sided printing onto 8.5 x 11 inch paper, then to be folded in half and stapled through the crease.

Download Cemetery Guide.

In addition, the Hillcrest cemetery has a short interpretive walk with signs explaining the 1914 Hillcrest Mine Disaster and its impact on the town.