Ross Bay Cemetery

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Ross Bay Cemetery
Ross Bay Cemetery Fall colors (1).jpg
Ross Bay Cemetery
Ross Bay Cemetery is located in British Columbia
Ross Bay Cemetery
Details
Year established 1873
Location Vancouver Island
Country Canada
Coordinates 48°24′41″N 123°20′24″W / 48.41144°N 123.3399°W / 48.41144; -123.3399
Type Public (plots available by lottery)
Size 27.5 acres (11.1 ha)
Number of graves 27,000
The grave of Sir James Douglas at the Ross Bay Cemetery.

Ross Bay Cemetery is located at 1516 Fairfield Road in Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island, Canada. Many historical figures from the early days of the province and colony of British Columbia are buried at Ross Bay.

History[edit]

The cemetery was opened in 1873. The 27.5 acre (111,000 m²) cemetery is part of a public park and its south side faces Ross Bay on the Pacific Ocean. It is named after its owner, Isabella Mainville Ross, the first registered independent woman landowner in British Columbia. Isabella was also Indigenous, an Anishinaabe and French Métis woman, which makes her accomplishment even more remarkable. Her Métis son, Alexander Ross, was buried in the cemetery in 1876. His grave marker is the only known original marker left in possession of the Old Cemeteries Society. The old wooden marker is still used as a model for heritage markers. Isabella Ross was buried across the path from Alexander in 1885. In 1994, the Old Cemeteries Society marked Isabella's grave with a heritage marker, styled after the one she chose for Alexander.

In 1911, a sea wall had to be constructed because of the severe erosion that occurred as a result of the relentless pounding of the ocean's waves. During the 1930s, the City began planting a large number of trees and today the cemetery is quite different from the original that was mainly barren ground.

The Victorian-style Ross Bay Cemetery, contains numerous elaborate mausoleums and tall pillars from the early elite. Because the city of Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia, until the second quarter of the 20th century when improved ferry service and air travel made mobility to and from the island much easier, most senior politicians made Victoria their permanent home. As such, Ross Bay Cemetery is the burial site for many of the province's premiers.

Although the Ross Bay Cemetery had long been considered full, the City of Victoria discovered approximately 270 unused plots in the cemetery in the late 1990s. Through a lottery process the City of Victoria sold seven of these plots in April 2004, [1] and an additional 65 plots in February 2007.[2] The money raised through the plot sales was used to fund refurbishment work at the Ross Bay Cemetery.

Notable interments[edit]

Some of the notable personalities among the more than 27,000 interred here are:

War Graves[edit]

The cemetery contains the war graves of 135 Commonwealth service personnel, 133 from World War I and 2 from World War II.[3]

Cultural References[edit]

Ross Bay Cemetery was also the alleged site of satanic rituals as described in Michelle Remembers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Plot Opportunity at Ross Bay Cemetery". City of Victoria. 2004. Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  2. ^ Heiman, Carolyn (2007-02-16). "Lottery brings burial with a view" (– = Search Scholar search). Times Colonist (Victoria BC). [dead link]
  3. ^ [1] CWGC Cemetery Report.

External links[edit]