Located close to Chancellor Alberta and within sight of the town’s grain elevator, the two graves (or grave markers) seen here belong to railway workers who perished on the job. Who they are and what where the exact circumstances of their death is a bit of a mystery. I’ve heard a number of stories from locals, most of which differed greatly from each other and were often contradictory.
About half spoken with say these are true graves with buried bodies and all, while others say that today they are simply memorial markers and at some unknown point those interned here were relocated somewhere else (but no one seems to know where).
All we know for certain is that these two fellows died as the line was being built, so around 1911-12. Railway documents make mentioned of it, but don’t go into any details beyond that. The rail line here is the CPR’s former Irricana Subdivision branch which was finally abandoned in the 2000s.
A picture of these crosses appear in a Greg McDonnell train book (Stand Fast, Craigellachie!) which is what inspired us to go looking for them in the first place. Given the lack of photos on this subject, outside Greg’s and now ours, it’s clear that few people know they even exist. Greg was a great help in guiding us into the site, BTW. Even if close to “downtown” Chancellor, they’re hidden away enough that it would be easy miss them.
As this subject is a mystery, we’ll continue to research it more and would love to hear from anyone who may know the story behind them.
Short Subjects: reports that for any number of reasons are brief in nature. They might be updates to older articles, previews of posts not yet published, brief snippets of things that don’t fit in anywhere else or subjects that are so obscure that information on them can’t be found.
If you need any more information on what we talked about here, by all means contact us!
Date of adventure: September, 2014.
Location: Chancellor, AB.