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Town’s cemeteries tell historic story

Two Fort Macleod cemeteries are the final resting places of some colourful characters from Alberta’s past.

Legendary scout Jerry Potts, who brought the North West Mounted Police to what is now Fort Macleod at the end of their historic March West, and Const. James Nash, the first Mountie killed in the line of duty, are just two of the famous people who are laid to rest.

The headstones in Union and Holy Cross cemeteries tell a respectful and interesting story. Some of the founding members of the Town of Fort Macleod and southern Alberta are buried in the cemeteries. The land on which Holy Cross Cemetery sits, for example, was consecrated in 1888 by Father Lacombe, a missionary priest who played a huge role in the settlement of western Canada. Union Cemetery, which lies just north of the Holy Cross Cemetery, contains the graves of 40 Mounties. There is new signage at the entrances to both cemeteries to help tell some of the stories of some well-known — and not so well-known — characters from the community’s past.

Victoria Cross recipient Brigadier General Harvey, commanding officer of Lord Strathcona’s Horse in World War One, is also buried in Macleod. D.W. Davis, a whisky trader who upon the arrival of the Mounties became their chief supplier and later was elected to Parliament, is at rest in the cemetery.

Also buried in Fort Macleod are three pilots killed in training at the British Commonwealth Air Training Program base in World War Two.

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