A gravestone at the Calvary Catholic Cemetery was recently damaged, prompting the cemetery’s caretakers to remind Rosslanders that it is still a licensed, active cemetery and should be respected.
The Calvary Catholic Cemetery is located at the south end of Esling Dr. An old gate leads to uneven ground surrounded and dotted with trees, which currently bear fall colours. Old gravestones, worn and covered in moss, are scattered across the cemetery. Some have come off their foundations and need to be refastened, while one was recently toppled over and broken in half. Carol Albo, a member of the Sacred Church Parish, believes that the damage may have been done by a bear or dog, as vandals usually push over more than one stone at a time.
But not all of the gravestones in the cemetery are showing age. Some are much more recent, as the cemetery is still active. Only ashes can be buried there now, and Albo says it’s usually for families that already have plots.
Though still active, the cemetery is also one of Rossland’s many heritage sites.
It was established in 1895 and is owned by the Nelson Diocese. Maintenance is done by members of the Rossland Sacred Heart parish with some help from the City of Rossland. Albo and other members of the parish have recently been working on a project to update the signage at the Calvary Catholic Cemetery and between their previous records, records kept by priests of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church during the time, and old copies of the Rossland Miner, they have come up with the names of 408 people buried in the cemetery, which will soon be posted near the entrance. Of those 408 people, they know the locations of 158 and those locations will be marked on a map at the entrance.
Albo says that people should feel welcome to walk through the cemetery or visit — whether they’re paying their respects to loved ones or visiting the heritage site — but should remember to be respectful and clean up after their dogs.
The Sacred Heart parish welcomes volunteers to help with maintenance around the cemetery. Anyone interested in helping can contact the Sacred Heart Church secretary at 250-362-7709.