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[ca. 1882]-2001, predominant 1900-2001 (Creation)
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This sub-series consists of minutes, reports, correspondence, burial ledgers, monument and burial applications, agreements, and other records relating to the various functions performed by cemeteries operated by the City of Edmonton.
Most early cemeteries in Edmonton were private or created by religious organizations. It was not until 1914 that the City established Beechmount Cemetery as the first municipal graveyard. At this time there were three other private cemeteries operating within Edmonton’s city limits, including Edmonton Cemetery, Mount Pleasant Cemetery, and Little Mountain Cemetery.
The Edmonton Cemetery Company was formed in 1886 and received a charter in the same year. It was a limited stock company with no dividends issued to stockholders. The Board of Directors consisted of many of the city's prominent men including Matt McCauley, Alex Taylor, George D. K. Kinnaird. The company acquired land from the Hudson's Bay reserve and established the grave yard south of 107th Avenue between 117th and 119th Streets. Later acquisitions expanded the grounds west and northward. In 1922 a large expansion to the west included a large reserve for a military field of honor around a Cross of Sacrifice, similar to those found in Europe, erected by the Veterans War Graves Commission. In 1932 a neo-classical Mausoleum was built on the north side of 107th Avenue. By the 1960s issues of financial viability and the need for perpetual care prompted the company to initiate negotiations to surrender their charter to the city. The transfer occurred in 1965.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery was a private burial ground in Strathcona. The first burials were in the 1890s, with the earliest marker showing 1893. The Strathcona Cemetery Company formed in 1900 to administer the cemetery. The City of Edmonton took over operation of this cemetery in 1941.
Little Mountain Cemetery was formed in 1895 as a church graveyard. Land was donated to Little Mountain Cemetery Company in 1900 and it became a public burial ground. After decades of financial struggle, the records were transferred to the City in 1981, and the City took the cemetery over in 1985.
As time progressed the City required more land for cemeteries. In 1972 the City purchased land off St. Albert Trail north of 137 Avenue. It was officially named Sturgeon Heights Memorial Park in 1986, then renamed Northern Lights Memorial Park in 1987. The first burial there occurred in 1989. In 1985 a piece of City owned land was chosen for the site of a future cemetery. It was officially named South Haven Cemetery in 1987 and opened the following year.
The most recent cemetery to come under the City’s control is Clover Bar Cemetery, which was established in 1901 behind the Clover Bar Church. Homesteader W.H. Wilkinson donated his land for the cemetery and he and nine other local residents formed a cemetery company. The City of Edmonton took over the running of this cemetery in 1995.
The Health Department was responsible for cemetery operations from 1914 until 1929, at which time responsibility was transferred to the Engineering Department. In 1947 the newly created Parks Department took control. The Parks Department evolved to become the Parks and Recreation Department in 1962, and later the Community Services Department in 1997.
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