Monday, December 14, 2009

Cemetery Pt., Shoal Lake, Manitoba - A Festival of Postcards

Cemetery Pt. Shoal Lake - postcard front

The theme for the upcoming Edition of A Festival of Postcards is: WHITE.

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault, the Festival's Editor, who blogs at
A Canadian Family suggested that I submit a cemetery card here at the Graveyard Rabbit of British Columbia, Canada. She's accepting anything related to white on postcards, including cards like this that are black and white.

The message on this postcard reads: Dear Joe I am sending you a picture of Shoal Lake which you have probably seen before. It is very pretty there is it not. I spent a day there this summer and enjoyed myself very much. Am writing to you. M.?. D. [bit hard to read the middle initial - could be S or G]

The card is addressed on the back to: Miss Josephine Lauder, c/o Mrs Laidlaw, 274 Furby St. Winnipeg.

Private Post Card
; the postcard is a bit obscured but is marked - Birtle, OC, 04.

This card qualifies for the Festival as it's black and white, but also qualifies as its back is mostly white; it's an undivided back card. Postcard backs were originally officially for the address only - that's why the message is on the front - and possibly why the photograph is smaller than we often see, so as to leave room for a handwritten note.

Canada allowed divided back cards from 1903 on. See Postcards from Hamilton's Past for examples from the history of various Canadian commercial cards. I did notice that another Festival of Postcards contributor, Alan Burnett, at News From Nowhere, chose a similar card.

Cemetery Pt. Shoal Lake - postcard back

I had another card in mind originally, but I just found this one at the Vancouver Postcard Club meeting and I wanted to post it to see if anyone has any more information about this cemetery site in Manitoba. I believe it's from the Shoal Lake my mother, born in Manitoba, used to visit. That Shoal Lake is in Shoal Lake Rural Municipality (RM) in southwest Manitoba.

There are 3 Shoal Lakes in Manitoba though, one on the eastern border, shared with Ontario, and one (now three smaller lakes) in the southern Interlake region between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba. The Canada GenWeb Cemetery Project lists 2 cemeteries for the Shoal Lake First Nations in eastern Manitoba, and 11 cemeteries in the Shoal Lake Rural Municipality.

None is identified as at 'Cemetery Point, Shoal Lake', nor does Cemetery Point seem to be an official place name anywhere in Manitoba. However, Shoal Lake Point Burial Site in Shoal Lake RM is listed. I wonder if this is the area shown in this photograph?

If so, the cemetery has been transcribed by George E. Fedyck, but his website is no longer available. If anyone has any information about Cemetery Point at Shoal Lake or about Shoal Lake Point Burial Site, or has contact information for George E. Fedyck, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

This card was sent to Josephine Lauder, who, I think, lived in Winnipeg with her cousins, the Laidlaws, at the time this card was mailed in 1904, and perhaps to at least 1906 when she and a sister, Jessie, are listed in the Canadian census1 at this same address, living with their cousins, the Laidlaw family, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. There was a LAUDER family living in Marquette District, in Manitoba, which would be near the southwestern Shoal Lake, but I haven't confirmed where Josephine and Jessie had lived earlier.

According to Geographical Names of Canada, from Natural Resources Canada, by the way, there are 15 official places in Canada using the name 'cemetery' -

Cemetery Hill in Alberta (Location 23-2-W5)
Cemetery Creek in British Columbia ( Yale Division, Yale Land District) Cemetery Hill in BC (once called a mountain - New Westminster Land District)
Cemetery Creek in BC (Kootenay Land District)
Cemetery Lake in Manitoba (Location 55-26-W)
Cemetery Hill in Newfoundland/Labrador (Ferryland)
Cemetery Lake in Nova Scotia (Richmond)
Cemetery Point in Nova Scotia (Cape Pictou)
Cemetery Pool in Nova Scotia (Feature - Annapolis)
Cemetery Pool in Nova Scotia (Feature - Inverness)
Cemetery Creek in Ontario (Huron)
Cemetery Creek in Ontario (Rainy River)
Cemetery Lake in Ontario (Lake Sudbury)
Cemetery Lake in Ontario (Lake Kenora)
Cemetery Point in Ontario (Cape Cochrane)


1Josephine LAUDER, aged 27, Jessie LAUDER, aged 25, both born Manitoba. 1906 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: Library and Archives Canada. Census of the Northwest Provinces, 1906. Ottawa, Canada: Library and Archives Canada. RG31, T-18353 to T-18363. LAIDLAW/LAUDER - Manitoba. Winnipeg, Sub-District Ward Three, Sub-District 3D, page 15, family #103, lines 5-10.