7th October 2017

McArthur Cemetery Walk

Though once a thriving village, McArthur didn’t last long. It had grown up quickly around William McArthur’s homestead and lumber mill at the turn of the last century. Before the disastrous fire of 1922, there sat along the north side of the Great Northern Railway, a post office, a 2-story I.O.O.F Northern Lodge #81 building with a dance hall, a grocery store, a schoolhouse, and 17 saloons! All that remains now of the town is the small Odd Fellows cemetery nestled in the shade of the woods.

For what has become an annual outing, the Boundary County Historical Society and Museum held its fourth walk in the cemetery on Saturday, October 7th, 2017. These tours teach us about its history. Sue Kemmis, the curator at the Museum, spent the summer walking and mapping the cemetery. Then with the help of Dorine Doyle and society volunteers, she researched, gathered information, and pieced together the story of the McArthur Cemetery.

Sue and Dave Gray led the way

Sue and Dave Gray led the way through the rustic tangle of grave-stones, relating the history of the town and cemetery and telling tales of the people of our past. Many were drawn to the event by the fact that they are family or friends of those that rest in McArthur. All attendees were encouraged to share stories; everyone became part of the tour as the narrative reminded them of memories of neighbors and loved ones. There are some sad stories, some happy and some quite funny, each of them adding a layer.

The Historical Society wishes to thank the McArthur Cemetery Association for partnering with us on this tour. As we have in the past, a minimal donation was requested by the Museum, which was split with the Association. If you missed out on this day of county history, or even those who were able to come, stop by the Museum, as all of the cemetery walks are preserved in book form in the research room.

A Rustic Tangle of Grave-stones
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