My Favourite Steinbach Destination: The Pioneer Cemetery

Andrew has accused me of not posting about the Pioneer Cemetery AT ALL as of yet. Well, he’s right. I haven’t. But I’ve meant to, for a long time, as this outdated photo will attest:

Autumn, 2018.

Thing is, there’s so much connection to this cemetery, I almost can’t stand it. That is to say, I know there is connection but in all my distracting bookshelves etc I haven’t actually delved into it much. And I feel guilty about that.

They say that you often don’t pay attention to what’s right in front of you. This is an example of exactly that. I figure I’ll always be here, the cemetery will always be here, there’ll always be time.

Also, there’s maybe a lot I could stand to learn about the place. And the info can get pretty confusing.

But sometimes there’s just obvious things that jump out at me.

For a long time, I’ve been pretty sure I’m descended from this particular pioneering individual… I’ve been drawn to it time and again. But I haven’t been sure because I’ve been too overwhelmed to cross-reference the info on the headstone.

Finally, today I checked it out, and:

He’s my great-great-great-grandfather. I KNEW it!

Okay, so there’s some more stuff about the cemetery. Like, the oaks:

“HERITAGE TREES: The large Oak Trees located here in Pioneer Cemetery, Steinbach’s first cemetery, remain from an original stand dating back to before Steinbach was settled in 1874.” 

A word about the trees. They are gorgeous. I love trees. I love cemeteries. I love it when the two are combined. I suspect I am not unique in my appreciation for trees and cemeteries. Okay, so I’m not sure if you know this or not, but in Steinbach we’ve had a bit of a tree-massacre lately. Dutch Elm Disease and also a certain kind of… blight(?) has decimated our tree population and it sickens me. Well, yeah, trees die. So, you need new ones, trees of all ages should be growing up around these oaks. But they’re not. But they should be.

Another note about this cemetery: Gerhard Kornelson. The Kornelsons were the original educators of Steinbach. The first school was named for the Kornelsons. Several generations of Kornelsons taught many generations of Steinbachian students.

In the distance in the below autumn photo, you’ll see the Pioneer Cairn which was put up in the late 90s I think. I will post more about that, properly, another time. But for now, just know that it is here.

Now I return to recent photos of the cemetery. Spring in the cemetery, it’s lovely!

Andrew and I strolled through the cemetery as we were waiting for our order to be prepared at Doener Grill Express (the pizza is very delicious btw).

We are the weird aunt and uncle who bring our nieces and nephews for walks through this cemetery.

The city has done a wonderful job of maintaining this site… I guess it’s difficult to overlook it since it’s pretty much kitty corner from City Hall (where the old Kornelson School was once located). Hopefully they’ll soon take the next step and allow some of the heritage acorns to take root and flourish.