Articles - Monuments and Memories: - The Evolution of British Columbian Cemeteries, 1850-1950


Monuments and Memories:

The Evolution of British Columbian Cemeteries, 1850-1950

Colin M. Coates
York University, Toronto


C'est dans les cimetières que les gens expriment le plus tangiblement et le plus ouvertement leurs réactions à la mort. L'article s'attache aux cimetières de Colombie-Britannique; il analyse l'évolution de leur esthétique de 1850 à 1950, la façon dont ils étaient compartimentés et les monuments funéraires qui s'y trouvaient. Le jardin du XIXe siècle on la famille rendait visite» à ses défunts a graduellement cédé le pas, au XXe siècle, à des pelouses, ce qui a rendu la présence de cimetières de moins en moins manifeste. Bien qu'il ne serve plus de refuge à la famille du défunt, le cimetière demeure un lieu où les distinctions sociales sont bien établies, tout au moins pour la classe moyenne qui en contrôle la regimentation. Les gens ont fini par délaisser les cimetières, préférant conserver intérieurement le souvenir de leurs proches.


Cemeteries represent the most material, and therefore public, means by which people express their reactions to death. This article analyzes the changing aesthetic qualities of British Columbian cemeteries between 1850 and 1950, the physical divisions created within them, and the monuments that populated them. A nineteenth-century garden where the family "visited" the deceased evolved into an increasingly invisible twentieth-century lawn cemetery. For the middle-class people who controlled cemetery regulations, the graveyard remained a place where social distinctions were established, although it had lost its role as a refuge for the mourning family. By 1950, the mourners' memories had supplanted the cemetery as the final resting place for the deceased.

1 Today, the cemetery impinges much less on everyday life than it did in the nineteenth century. Increasingly inconspicuous and less frequented, the modern burial-ground seems an anomaly in the urban landscape. Since mid-century, contemporary attitudes toward death, like the cemetery they created, have become objects of criticism. At first criticism focussed largely on the unnecessary extravagance of the death ritual;1 more recently it has been levelled at a perceived indifference toward death or the dying.2 Now historians are providing a context for these critiques. Richard Etlin, in his study of cemeteries in France, states, "Our current indifference toward the cemetery...stems largely from taboos of openly discussing death and providing for the dead."3

2 The evolution of our modern-day cemetery from the nineteenth-century burial-ground can be clearly shown. Starting with the premise that burial-grounds can be seen as places where social distinctions and ties are made and unmade, this article examines the evolving middle-class attitude toward the physical consecration of death in British Columbia. Discussion focusses on the cemeteries in the province's largest urban centres, where the shifting forms of the graveyards take on their clearest outlines. In looking at monuments, however, the most accessible published evidence comes from smaller cemeteries. In the period from 1850 to 1950, although the cemetery remained an appropriate place for drawing social distinctions, its physical importance in the process of dealing with death diminished. By 1950, the memory had replaced the cemetery as the final resting place of the dead loved one.

3 The early white settlers of British Columbia undoubtedly brought with them recollections of how their home societies disposed of their dead. Governor James Douglas' son-in-law, Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken, recorded in his memoirs the uneasy feelings he entertained during his explorations of the burial vaults in his parish church in London.4 Such burials, relatively common up to the early nineteenth century, were generally reserved for persons of status and wealth. Others had to content themselves with less distinguished resting places. Churchyards and graveyards, often no more than mass burial pits, bequeathed memories of miasmatic vapours and exposed rotting remains.5 By the early nineteenth century, urban reformers in both western Europe and North America were invoking sanitary and sentimental justifications to close the old burial-grounds and open garden-like cemeteries outside the city limits.6

4 Given the uneven nature of British Columbian development, it is not surprising that burial-grounds should, especially in the early years, display wide variations. In isolated areas, or among specific groups in society, the dead were not even interred in graveyards. Dr. Helmcken buried two of his infants in his own garden, transferring them to a cemetery only on the death of their mother.7 Early travellers to the interior of the province, at a time when organized graveyards were rare, thought it noteworthy, but not shocking, to find graves alongside the trails they were following.8 As late as 1892, Charles Mair, an ex-member of Canada First, employed his poetic licence to express his enthusiasm over the lack of a graveyard near Kelowna:

Everybody dies a natural death, and people are buried in their backyards, or under their favorite fruit trees. It is perfectly delightful.9

5 In small communities, as Roger Hall and Bruce Bowden point out in the case of Ontario, rural cemeteries remained aloof from the social forces influencing their urban counterparts.10 Haphazard borrowings from North American and European influences created an eclectic blend of graveyards in British Columbia. Comparing these rural burial-grounds to those in Ontario, geographer Mary Philpot explained, "It is not so easy to stereotype the British Columbian cemetery."11 Nonetheless, in the urban areas of the province, the evolution of cemeteries traced a similar course to the trends in other parts of the Western world.

6 British Columbian cities reached early agreement that burial-grounds should be distinct and isolated, that the dead should be banished from the sight of the living.12 In recommending the approval of the Anglican bishop's plan for New Westminster, Colonel R.C. Moody wrote to Governor Douglas that "His Lordship impressed upon me the immediate necessity of a Burial Ground outside the limits of the City."13 Likewise, when B.W. Pearse judged the viability of various sites in Victoria, he stated that "nearly all of these lots would be suitable for a Cemetery, being well away from the City...."14 As a result, when Victoria established Ross Bay Cemetery in 1872 and Vancouver created Mountain View in 1887, both sites were quite distant from populated areas.15

7 Civic officials were only reflecting the accepted notions that cemeteries offered a menace to the public health. The first draft of an 1860s petition for the closure of the small graveyard established by the Hudson's Bay Company in Victoria in 1848 cited the facts that

remains partially exposed are exceedingly offensive to the passers by and to persons residing and holding property in the neighbourhood.... these remains becoming more and more decomposed in the heat of summer increase are likely to infect the air, produce malaria, and breed disease.16

As late as 1895, Nanaimo's Board of Cemetery Trustees considered closing the Old Cemetery because a public health official warned of the dangers of infection.17 Thus, concerns for the living, rather than the dead, resulted in the isolated location of cemeteries. But this did not mean that the living were unconcerned about the dead.

8 Rather, public interest had a great deal to do with the shape the graveyards took. "I felt impressed today with the importance of doing something to improve our public Cemetery which is in a disgraceful condition," the Reverend Edward White recorded in his diary in 1867 in New Westminster, "went to the president of the Council and something may be done."18 The following year in Victoria, a public committee proposed draining the Quadra Street Cemetery, constructing walks, and planting it with ornamental trees and shrubs.19 The monuments that mourners provided for the commemoration of the deceased also contributed to the aesthetic development of the cemetery. With the transformation of burial-grounds into peaceful, beautiful gardens, the dead were being rendered accessible to the living.20 In doing so, those people in charge of cemeteries stressed the links between the living and the dead, and to a certain extent, the cohesion of the community itself.

9 But in a more striking sense, nineteenth-century cemeteries accentuated the primacy of the nuclear family. Early photographs illustrate the point. Fences, iron railings and concrete curbing enclosed the graves, carrying into the necropolis ideals of privacy and property (fig. 1).21 When Lady Franklin visited Victoria in 1861, Alexander Grant Dallas, a director of the Hudson's Bay Company, took her to the local graveyard one Sunday after church. It was a matter of civic pride as well as pious familial grief to show the distinguished traveller his child's tomb.22 The early urban British Columbian cemeteries emphasized the sanctity of the family, the sense of peacefulness and beauty, and the focus on public health. The graveyards promised both an escape for the dead from the sprawl of the young cities and their eventual reunion with their mourners in fenced private plots. In this way, the cemeteries embodied many aspects of nineteenth-century attitudes towards death.23 Banished from everyday sight, the dead nonetheless remained accessible to the living, if only on the latters' own terms.

10 The banishment of the dead would not last long. In the face of rapid urban growth in Vancouver and Victoria, the isolated nature of their cemeteries was soon lost (fig. 2). As old sites filled up, debates over the creation of new burial-grounds revealed an evolution in the concept of the cemetery. Where once the garden graveyards had been a source of civic pride, many now saw them as a direct challenge to suburban self-esteem. Vancouver's city council overcame the problems of overcrowding in Mountain View by expanding the original site. In 1920, the South Vancouver Board of Trade complained to its Member of Parliament, "We have no ambition or desire to become a City of the 'dead'."24 Another petition in 1935 to the city's mayor stated the problem more clearly:

South Vancouver should be entitled to as good a class of home as the Point Grey district, but on account of this Necropolis, (City of the dead), the district is ruined. (Why should the dead reduce the value of our homes?)25

The presence of the dead, therefore, challenged the property values of middle-class homes. The reference to Point Grey is appropriate since only nine years previously a concerted protest by politicians at every level of authority averted plans for a private cemetery in the suburb. At the time, a committee report argued successfully to the provincial premier that

people do not wish to live near a cemetery if they are able to afford homes elsewhere. Such an attitude appears to be caused by a desire to be spared the depressing effects of continuous passing of cotteges and of seeing the conducting of interments.26

In the twentieth century, faced with a suburban public reluctant to accept daily reminders of death, a successful cemetery would become one that dissimulated its morbid nature.

Fig. 1. View of Ross Bay Cemetery, taken about 1885. Each grave is surrounded by fences, railings, or curbing.
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(Courtesy: Provincial Archives of British Columbia, neg. no. 42413)

11 The stone jungle of upright monuments of the nineteenth-century garden cemetery gave way to manicured lawns and almost invisible memorials. In the late 1920s, during a period in which Vancouver's city council flirted with the possibility of disposing of its dead in an acreage it had purchased in Burnaby, it commissioned a report on the ideal forms a burial-ground should take. "In order to prevent this undue animosity," the author noted, recognizing the suburban opposition to cemeteries, "the modern cemetery, resembling a park, with its tablet system of memorials, has been evolved."27 Cemetery ordinances were increasingly strict concerning the size and shape of monuments. The 1924 bylaws of Burnaby's own cemetery, Ocean View Burial Park, set out very specific conditions for the erection of monuments.28 Similarly, in those sections of Mountain View Cemetery opened after 1933, only flat, horizontal tablets were permitted.29 Victoria's leading funeral director, Reginald Hayward, explained to an English client the rules of Victoria's Royal Oak Cemetery, the 1920s answer to crowding in Ross Bay:

It is the intention of the Board of Managers this God's Acre shall be when completed a burial park for the dead rather than an ordinary type cemetery, therefore upright stones which often topple over, are not allowed. This modern type of cemetery is now largely being used throughout Canada and we can assure you they are far prettier than the cemetery of the old type.30

Even more important than its attractiveness, the modern cemetery promised easier, more efficient maintenance. It also, American historian James Farrell argues, "eliminated suggestions of death."31

Fig. 2. Ross Bay Cemetery in 1928. Victoria's suburbs encroach on the once isolated graveyard.
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(Courtesy: Provincial Archives of British Columbia, neg. no. 95469)

12 Furthermore, by disallowing fences and curbings, they seemed to eliminate the emphasis on the family. Enclosures had largely disappeared from the rural cemeteries of southwestern British Columbia by 1925.32 The report commissioned by Vancouver's city council remarked on a similar trend. Where once four-grave units had been popular among purchasers of cemetery plots, two-grave units were increasingly in demand.33 The reunion of the family after death was becoming less and less likely. Cemetery regulations, and perhaps society in general, were frowning on the expressions of property and privacy that were so common to graveyards of the nineteenth century. In 1940, the owner of a plot in Mountain View declared his intention to cover it with a sheet of concrete. The owner of the neighbouring plot complained to the mayor,

I feel that it is detrimental to the general body of plot-holders in the allow others indiscriminately to cover up their plots with an unsightly slab of concrete.34

The city council agreed; if individuals wished to express property and family ideals, they would have to employ less material means. In any event, expressing links with the dead was becoming an intellectual exercise that required the cemetery less and less.

13 Although the family's identification with the dead was less and less centred upon the grave, the cemetery remained, up to 1950 at least, an appropriate place to create and recognize larger social identifications. On the broadest level, of course, there was a feeling that the cemetery should reflect the overall unity of the community. All sectors of society were allowed into the public cemetery (though certain groups, for example, the Chinese in Victoria and Kamloops or the Jews in Vancouver and Victoria, chose to establish their own burial-grounds). Thus H.P.P. Crease wrote to the Attorney General in 1863, "The lines of demarcation between separate portions should not be such as to prevent the Cemetery being laid out as a whole."35 Nonetheless, the nature of these "separate portions" reveals much about British Columbian society.

14 From the beginning, civic cemeteries permitted religious groups to establish rights over specific areas. In 1860, Roman Catholic Bishop Demers of Victoria complained to Governor Douglas that the Anglican Church was not respecting his congregation's privileges in the Quadra Street Cemetery.36 With the opening of Ross Bay in 1872, various churches received portions of land. Emily Carr recalled the strange visual effects of the religious divisions.

The first graves in Ross Bay Cemetery looked very lonely and far apart, because Episcopalians could not lie beside Nonconformists, nor could Catholics rest beside Episcopalians.37

15 In the 1870s, after the Anglican and Catholic churches refused burial rights to individuals who had wished to be interred in the denominations' land in Ross Bay, debate arose over the propriety of granting exclusive rights over sections to religious groups.38 In opposition to a proposed bill, Victoria's Cemetery Trustees petitioned the Legislative Assembly in 1875 to maintain the clergy's rights.39 Likewise, in 1876 New Westminster's Cemetery Board, caught up in government restrictions, demanded the power to divide its property among the denominations.40 In the end, communitarian forces of the period compromised with the churches' tenacity. In 1879 the legislature passed an act requiring the payment of $300 an acre for the retention of privileges in Ross Bay. Only the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Presbyterian churches paid the sum, and other sections were opened up to the public.41 British Columbia cemeteries, while permitting some religious distinctions, were not to be strictly organized along denominational lines.

16 In fact, cemeteries preserved racial differences more successfully in the twentieth century than they did religious distinctions. The Church of England, at the time of the opening of Ross Bay, vehemently argued that

the confined to the purposes of Christians' Burial only, to the exclusion for instance of the heathen... (The Buddhist may, and certainly will as the Chinese become wealthy, have his heathen ceremony and affix his heathen inscriptions in the midst of Christian symbols.42

Although the trustees permitted Asian-Canadians to inter their dead in the cemetery, Chinese, Japanese, and East Indians had access only to an isolated section. That this portion of the burial-ground was undoubtedly the least desirable land was shown by the fact that a strong storm later washed part of the section into the sea.43 Racial restrictions recurred throughout the province. The bylaws of the Ocean View Burial Park Company outlined in 1924 that

no person of Asian or African blood in any degree whatsoever shall be buried in any part of the Burial Park, except in that portion allotted and set apart for such purposes.44

The 1928 report on Vancouver's cemetery likewise suggested that a separate portion be provided for Canadians of Oriental origin.45 Such divisions also found their way into many rural graveyards.46

17 No less, and possibly more, important were the economic distinctions the cemetery revealed. Plots varied in size, location, and price, making the ability to buy a plot confirmation of at least a minimum degree of social status. "In the urban cemetery," historians of nineteenth-century Britain have argued, "...the class structure which was developing could be neatly demonstrated by the lines on a map or plan."47 In British Columbia, the major distinction was drawn between those who could afford graves and those who had rejected the norms of middle-class society by not providing for their departure from society.

18 Provincial legislation required the provision free of charge of burial-grounds for paupers; it made no demands as to the sort of ground accorded for the purpose. Consequently, to the end of the period, the thought of a pauper grave struck fear into the hearts of many British Columbians. Funeral directors may have helped create such attitudes, if only because of their cavalier reaction towards the interment of paupers. Reginald Hayward's father, Charles, who had in 1888 complained of the rude conduct of pauper funerals, was quick to suggest a money-saving plan for the burial of the unidentified dead of a shipwreck: "At least four possibly five could be placed in two plots, and the expense considerably reduced."48 For his own part, Reginald Hayward would later dissuade a client from purchasing such a grave. "They are good dry graves," he explained, "but are where the charity cases are put, hence not particularly desirable."49

19 Some members of the public shared this sentiment. "Certain it is that had I been an hour later in arriving," the brother-in-law of an almost unidentified drowning victim dramatically informed the latter's brother, "poor Tom would have been buried as an unknown body in a pauper's grave."50 Mrs. M.F. Kelly, writing to Vancouver's mayor to inquire why her husband's grave was so poorly tended, stated, "One would think it was a section set aside for paupers."51 In a similar vein, a meeting of Victoria's morticians learned in 1942 that "a buyer...ordered a $20.00 grave through his Funeral Director and...was mortified to find the grave dug in the pauper section."52

20 In fact, economic distinctions even overcame the racial restrictions so important to local cemetery boards. Cemetery records for the first years of operation of Mountain View report the adjacent burials between 22 December 1888 and 5 January 1889 of James McAfeeley, a "Chinaman," William Sweeney, and Kandi a "Jap."53 As a witness before a legislative committee examining Ross Bay Cemetery had admitted some twenty years previously: "There is a spot set apart for Indians, Mongolians, and paupers."54 Thus, poverty may have been in British Columbian cemeteries the ultimate social distinction.

21 However, cemeteries do not only enforce distinctions: they may also reinforce social ties. As Philippe Ariès states, the nineteenth-century garden cemeteries were "museums of family love."55 A closer examination of the monuments that were dedicated to the dead "loved ones" reveals elements of the family's relationship with the deceased. Although on first glance, the increasing invisibility of headstones might suggest for the twentieth century a studied ignorance,56 a closer look reveals just the opposite.

22 The earliest cemetery legislation accorded local boards the jurisdiction to accept or reject personal monuments.57 In the heyday of Victorian mortuary art, however, a wide variety of columns, obelisks, pedestals, sarcophagi, and tablets dotted the landscape of the garden cemeteries. Most of these memorials had a vertical axis, as if by reaching towards heaven they breached the distance between the deceased and his or her mourners. Philpot demonstrates that the vertical nature of British Columbian tombstones peaked around the turn of the century. In addition, she shows that they reflected the designs, themes, and materials current in other parts of North America.58

23 Yet by the 1920s, at least in urban areas, horizontal headstones set flush to the lawn had taken the place of the diverse styles. "By 1925," Philpot notes, "tombstone art seems to be directed towards functional purposes rather than artistic expression."59 Stereotyped and shortened, memorials were increasingly nondescript.

24 Uniformity was, in fact, universal among those buried as war veterans. Subsuming individual identity to the larger national cause, cemetery officials were vigilant in controlling the regularity of the rows of monuments. In 1931 Mountain View's superintendent J.B. Gray complained of a "disagreeable circumstance":

Yesterday afternoon a marker was placed on the grave of B. Blitch, and this stone bears the inscription 'In loving memory of' contrary to specification.60

In 1942 the erection of a cross on a soldier's grave occasioned a similar crisis. A city official wrote to a representative of the army, "I feel that we shall have to remove the cross so that uniformity may be preserved." Although uniformity was never so rigid in other parts of the cemetery, the diverse monuments of the nineteenth century found only a faint echo in the twentieth. In this sense, the war veterans' memorials perhaps typified only an extreme example of the modern tendency.

25 The decreasing size and the increasing uniformity of the monuments complicate an analysis of the epitaphs inscribed on them. Not surprisingly, the epitaphs tend to grow shorter throughout the period. Nonetheless, a quantitative study of the inscriptions provided in lists compiled by genealogists and in the order forms of Kamloops mortician R.H. Dwyer reveals some more significant trends.62 These epitaphs, from relatively small urban, suburban, and rural graveyards, were probably less influenced by the rigid regulations of the twentieth century than were gravestones in the larger cemeteries. They may therefore provide a clearer reflection of the attitudes of the people who chose the inscription.

26 In his study of American epitaphs up to 1813, Michel Vovelle shows that the inscriptions illustrated a growing mastery over the facts of the deceased's life. For example, by the early nineteenth century, tombstones almost universally noted the age of the dead and frequently the place of birth as well.63 This trend reversed in British Columbia. Between 1870 and 1950, it became less and less common to provide precise vital information such as the exact dates of death and birth and the age of the deceased (fig. 3). Likewise, fewer epitaphs referred to other aspects of the deceased's life (fig. 4). The proportion of tombstones noting place of origin or place of death declined, and if the data on occupations are slightly more vague, this fact is due to the rising number of war veterans who died in the latter part of the period. Their tombstone specifications required an indication of their military occupation. In the twentieth century, much less stress was put on the specific attributes of the dead loved one on British Columbian gravestones.

27 At the same time that there was a decreasing emphasis on the individuality of the deceased, it became less and less clear just what he or she was doing in the cemetery. The use of direct terms such as "died" or "death" (including obvious euphemisms like "gone" or "passed") declined dramatically over the period (fig. 5). Even life-like metaphors such as "rest" and "peace" increased in popularity only marginally, while "sleep" remained very low. Perhaps British Columbians gradually realized that it was unnecessary to indicate the purpose of the deceased's sojourn in the cemetery; perhaps also they were shunning a direct, material confrontation with mortality.

28 Of course, the shrinking size of the monument might provide a facile explanation for these declining trends. One set of graphs (fig. 6), however, suggests the inadequacy of this argument. The proportion of mentions of the family ties of the deceased remained relatively consistent over time, as did references to the mourners. Faced with the finality of death, the survivors proved unwilling to forsake their links with the dead. But these ties with the deceased could only exist in the mind. Thus, the use of the term "memory" ("remember," "in memoriam") actually seems to increase, although unsteadily, through the period. In this way, the historical process that had created the garden cemetery in the nineteenth century as a place for the forging of family memories led to a point where those memories took primacy over the cemetery in the twentieth century. The mind represented one place where the dead would be perpetually accessible to the living. In more than just the codified move to a horizontal axis, then, twentieth-century tombstones brought death "down to earth." There the mourners, especially the family, could refuse to relinquish their ties with the dead by encircling the loved one in their memories.

Fig. 3. Information in the epitaph about the deceased: date of birth, date of death, age.
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Fig. 4. Information in the epitaph about the deceased: occupation, place of origin, place of death.
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Fig. 5. Ways of describing death in the epitaph: death, rest, peace, sleep.
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Fig. 6. Mourners' links with the deceased: family ties, mentions of mourners, the memory.
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29 Cremation, as S.C. Humphreys points out, provided an even more efficient means of encircling the deceased in memories. Ashes could be dispersed in spots reminiscent of the dead person's lifetime.65 At least two churches in Victoria allowed the burial of cremated remains within their buildings after the 1930s.66 More significant was the ability to scatter or bury ashes outside of traditional areas. One client, Reginal Hayward learned,

expressed the wish that her ashes be buried at a certain spot on a wooden bluff at Sooke Harbour House where she said she had spent the happiest hours of her life.67

For people who cremated the remains of their loved ones, no material presence, whether it be the corpse or some form of monument, stood between the deceased and the mental process of commemoration.

30 Up to 1950, however, cremation remained quite uncommon in British Columbia.68 Much more common was burial in a lawn cemetery beneath a small, flat tablet that stressed the deceased's ties to the mourners. The family had not disappeared from the new cemetery; rather, the family's memory had supplanted the function of the old graveyard. Where the dead had been banished from sight in the nineteenth-century garden cemetery, they were relegated to the mind in the twentieth. At the same time, the cemetery continued to play a role in fostering social distinctions. Though religion did not provide strict lines of segregation in the cemetery, well into the twentieth century economic and racial differences remained very important. But overall, the cemetery assumed a less imposing place in the landscape. For the middle class in British Columbia, the family ties, which had hitherto been consecrated in a public fashion in the cemetery, would become more and more a matter of the mind.

I would like to thank Dr. W. Peter Ward, who directed the thesis that provided the material for this article, and Megan Davies, who commented on the various drafts it later underwent.

1 For discussions relating to Canada, see B.K. Sandwell, "Funeral Customs of Today," Saturday Night 69, no. 3 (25 October 1952): 7; "Coriolus" (pseud.), Death, Here is Thy Sting (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1967); Jessica Mitford, in The American Way of Death, 2nd ed. (New York: Fawcett Crest, 1978), p. 66, suggests that some aspects of her criticisms of American practices also apply to Canada.
2 For example, Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor (New York: Vintage Books, 1977); Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Death: The Final Stage of Growth (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1975).
3 Richard Etlin, The Architecture of Death (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1984), p. 368.
4 D.B. Smith, eds., The Reminiscences of Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1975), p. 17.
5 James Walvin, "Dust to Dust: Celebrations of Death in Victorian England," Historical Reflections 9, no. 3 (Fall 1982): 354; John McManners, Death and the Enlightenment: Changing Attitudes to Death among Christians and Unbelievers in Eighteenth-Century France (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981), pp. 303-4.
6 Philippe Ariès, Western Attitudes toward Death: From the Middle Ages to the Present, trans. Patricia Ranum (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), pp. 68-76.
7 Smith, ed., Reminiscences of Helmcken, pp. 212-13.
8 Id., ed., "The Journal of Arthur Thomas Bushby, 1858-1859," British Columbia Historical Quarterly 21, nos. 1-4 (January-October 1957-58): 159; George Stanley, ed., Mapping the Frontier: Charles Wilson's Diary of the Survey of the Forty-Ninth Parallel, 1858-1862, while Secretary of the British Boundary Commission (Toronto: Macmillan, 1970), p. 119.
9 Mair to George Denison, 5 December 1892, George Taylor Denison Papers, MG 29 E29, vol. 7, Public Archives of Canada. Reference supplied by Duane Thomson.
10 "Beautifying the Boneyard: The Changing Image of the Cemetery in Nineteenth-Century Ontario," Material History Bulletin 23 (Spring 1986): 15.
11 Mary Philpot, "In This Neglected Spot: The Rural Cemetery Landscape in Southern British Columbia" (M.A. thesis, University of British Columbia, 1976), p. 16.
12 Michel Vovelle makes this latter point concerning the implications of locating cemeteries outside European cities in La Mort et l'Occident de 1300 à nos jours (Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1983), p. 640.
13 Moody to Douglas, 24 February 1860, B 1337, F9 19 25, Colonial Correspondence (hereafter CC), Provincial Archives of British Columbia (hereaftrer PABC).
14 Pearse, Lands and Works Department, to Colonial Secretary, 9 August 1870, B1341, F995 29, CC.
15 John Adams, Historic Guide to Ross Bay Cemetery (Victoria: Heritage Architectural Guides, 1983), p. 3; Richard Gosse, "The Provision of Funeral and Cemetery Services in British Columbia" (A Report to the Hon. K. Rafe Mair, Minister of Consumer Services, 1976), p. 149.
16 Drafts of petition, n.d., vol. 3, f. 22, pp. 1-3, Crease Family Papers, Add. MSS. 55, PABC.
17 Council Minutes, Council as Board of Cemetery Trustees, 1 April 1895, p. 558, Corporation of the City of Nanaimo, City of Nanaimo Archives. Reference supplied by Walter Meyer zu Erpen.
18 Diary entry, 22 August 1867, Rev. Edward White Papers, v.f. 118, University of British Columbia Special Collections.
19 E.G. Alston to W.A.G. Young, Colonial Secretary, 24 October 1868, B1300, F 13 14, CC.
20 Anne Douglas, The Feminization of American Culture (New York: Avon Books, 1977), pp. 250-56.
21 Ibid., pp. 254-55.
22 D. B. Smith, ed., Lady Franklin Visits the Pacific Northwest: Being Extracts from the Letters of Miss Sophia Cracroft, Sir John Franklin's Niece, February to April 1861 and April to July 1870 (Victoria: PABC Memoir no. Ⅺ, 1974), p. 32.
23 For a discussion of middle-class attitudes towards death as reflected in their written records, see chapter 3 of my thesis, "Death in British Columbia, 1850-1950" (M.A. thesis, University of British Columbia, 1984).
24 Charles Harrison, Secretary, South Vancouver Board of Trade, to Mr. Farris, M.P., 23 August 1920, B2 170, f. V-279-8, Attorney General, Correspondence Series, GR 1323, PABC.
25 Petition to Mayor and Council, 21 September 1935, 146E6, f. 7, City of Vancouver Health Department, Series 3, Administrative Officer Records, 1. Cemetery Records (hereafter VHDCR), City of Vancouver Archives (hereafter CVA).
26 Committee Report to Premier and Cabinet, 16 September 1926, B2230, f. C-3 1-1, Attorney General, Correspondence Series, GR 1323, PABC.
27 J. A. Walker, "Report on Civic Cemetery (Burnaby)" 1928, p. 6, 145 A1, f. 4, VHDCR.
28 By-laws of Ocean View Burial Park Co., 1924, 146 C7, f. 6, VHDCR.
29 Gosse, "Provision of Services," p. 150.
30 Hayward to Miss M. Andrus, 25 February 1939, Hayward Family Papers (hereafter HF), vol. 56, Add. MSS. 503, PABC.
31 Inventing the American Way of Death. 1830-1920 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1980), p. 120.
32 Philpot, "In This Neglected Spot," p. 78.
33 J. A. Walker, "Report of Civic Cemetery (Burnaby)" 1928, p. 10, 145 A1, f. 4, VHDCR.
34 Neil McEwen to Mayor, 31 May 1940, 146 E 6, f. 13, VHDCR.
35 Crease to Attorney General, 27 March 1863, B1303, F 61 26a, CC.
36 Demers to Douglas, 8 November 1860, B1324, F 453 4, CC.
37 Emily Carr, The Book of Small (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin and Co., 1966), p. 114.
38 Evidence taken before the Select Committee on Ogden Point Lands, Sessional Papers, Journals of the Legislative Assembly (Victoria: Richard Wolfenden, 1876), pp. 745-50.
39 Petition of Trustees of Ross Bay Cemetery to Legislative Assembly, 1875, Sessional Papers, Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia (Victoria: Richard Wolfenden, n.d.), p. 702.
40 T.R. McInnes, Secretary, Cemetery Board to A.C. Elliott, Attorney General, 2 March 1876, Sessional Papers, Journals of the Legislative Assembly (Victoria: Richard Wolfenden, 1876), p. 743.
41 Adams, Historic Guide, p. 5.
42 Memorial to the Cemetery Board from the Bishop, Clergy and Laity of the Church of England, 18 September 1872, p. 63, Bishop G. Hills Papers, Add. MSS. 1525, PABC.
43 Adams, Historic Guide, p. 29.
44 By-laws of Ocean View Burial Park Co., 1924, 146 C7, f. 6, VHDCR.
45 J. A. Walker, "Report on Civic Cemetery (Burnaby)" 1928, p. 17, 145 A1, f. 4, VHDCR.
46 Philpot, "In This Neglected Spot," p. 43.
47 Stuart Rawnsley and Jack Reynolds, "Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford," History Workshop 4 (Autumn 1977): 220; Richard Francaviglia, "The Cemetery as an Evolving Cultutal Landscape," Annals of the Association of American Geographers 61, no. 3 (September 1971): 506.
48 Hayward to J.S. Yates, Hon. Secretary, Royal Hospital, 3 July 1888, vol. 1, pp. 260-61; Hayward to Mr. W. Allen, Agent, Pacific Coast Steamship Co., 5 February 1906, vol. 7, p. 501, HF.
49 Hayward to H.T. Murray, 18 August 1936, vol. 53, HF.
50 James Currie to James Thompson, 19 August 1897, Sessional Papers, Journals of the Legislative Assembly (Victoria: Richard Wolfenden, 1898), p. 765.
51 Kelly to S.W. Millar, 2 August 1938, 146 E6, f. 11, VHDCR.
52 Minutes of Meeting of Funeral Directors and Embalmers of Victoria, 22 May 1942, vol. 60, HF.
53 Register of lots sold, 1887-1889, Public Cemetery, 126 A 5, p. 611, CVA.
54 Mr. Drummond, Evidence taken before the Select Committee..., p. 746.
55 Philippe Ariès, Images of Man and Death, trans. Janet Lloyd (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985), p. 259.
56 James Hijiya, "American Gravestones and Attitudes Toward Death: A Brief History," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 127, no. 5 (October 1983): 359-60.
57 "An Ordinance to Make General Regulations for the Establishment and Management of Cemeteries in the Colony of British Columbia," 33 Victoria, chap. 22, Ordinances Passed by the Legislative Council of British Columbia during the Session from 15th February to 23rd April. 1870 (Victoria: Richard Wolfenden, 1870).
58 "In This Neglected Spot," pp. 49-65.
59 Ibid., p. 18.
60 Gray to Dr. Mcintosh, Medical Health Officer, 21 July 1931, 146 C 6, f. t, VHDCR.
61 Dr. Stewart Murray, Medical Health Officer to Flight-Lieutenant McDonald, 18 June 1942, 146 E6, f. 14, VHDCR.
62 Sources of inscriptions: lists of monument inscriptions published by the British Columbia Genealogical Society; monument inscriptions, Cowichan Island Genealogical Club, Add. MSS. 1325, PABC; monument inscriptions for Wellington Cemetery, Nanaimo, compiled by Walter Meyer su Erpen; purchase orders, box 3, f. 5, Financial Records of Dwyer's Funeral House, Kamloops, University of British Columbia Special Collections. The temporal divisions of the tombstones are 1871-1890, 25; 1891-1900, 48; 1901-1910, 73; 1911-1920, 135; 1921-1930, 124; 1931-1940, 178; 1941-1950, 344. For a fuller discussion of the sources see "Death in British Columbia," pp. 104-5, 116, 139.
63 M. Vovelle, "A Century and One-Half of American Epitaphs (1660-1813): Toward the Study of Collective Attitudes about Death," Comparative Studies in Society and History 22, no. 4 (October 1980): 536.
64 These two graphs (fig. 5) are not quite identical. Mentions of the family ties include those with relatives who predeceased the person commemorated (e.g. "widow of"). References to the mourners comprise mentions of living relatives only, as well as personal pronouns that establish a link with the deceased (e.g. "In time we will meet her"). This figure and the one following may be compared with similar analyses of southern French epitaphs (figs. 15 and 16) in M. Vovelle and Régis Bertrand, La Ville des Morts (Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1983), pp. 185-86.
65 S.C. Humphreys, "Death and Time," in Mortality and Immortality: the Anthropology and Archaeology of Death, ed. Humphreys and Helen King (London: Academic Press, 1981), p. 272.
66 Reginald Hayward to G.H. Scarret, People's Warden, Church of Our Lord, 21 March 1935, vol. 35; R. Hayward to P. Grace, 14 April 1938, vol. 55 (referring to Christ Church Cathedral), HF.
67 A. Kohout to Hayward, 7 March 1937, vol. 54, HF.
68 In 1952, only 13.5 percent of all dead were cremated, though this had risen to over 50 per cent by 1980. Gosse, "Provision of Services," pp. 15-16; Statistics Canada, "Funeral Directors 1980" (Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services, 1982), p. 14.