Who are the forgotten dead of Vulcan County?

Whose remains are buried here?

Whose remains are buried here?

During the decade after 1916, settlers fled the drought-ridden plains of southeastern Alberta en masse. As David C. Jones outlines in his book,¬†We’ll all be buried down here-¬†The Prairie Drybelt Disaster of 1917-1926,¬†homesteaders often alighted with few possessions, many carrying only “the shirts on their backs”.

In some instances settlers were forced to part with something more dear, the remains of loved ones who had passed on, left behind in lonely, sometimes forgotten, prairie graveyards.

“We’ll all be buried down here in this dry belt, if we wait for the government to get us out,” Jones quotes one settler, who expressed his desire to “Quit the Dry Belt” in no uncertain terms:. “And parts of it are desperately desolate places to be buried in.

One such desperately desolate place was Taylor Cemetery, located in Vulcan County:

Along an unremarkable stretch of road, about 17 miles northeast of the village of Lomond, Alta., lie the forgotten dead of Vulcan County.

Atop a wind-whipped knoll along the north side of Secondary Highway 539, a lonely pioneer graveyard has endured for the better part of a century.

Passing motorists would never know a cemetery exists here. There are no headstones or signs to mark the graves. Only a few sunken indentations amidst the crested wheat grass and clover remain.

No seems to know for certain who or how many were buried here. Burial records haven’t been located or do not exist. The next-of-kin are long gone, having joined the exodus from the drought-stricken Kinnondale district west of the Bow River after the First World War.

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Originally posted on ForgottenAlberta.com

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