A Brief History of Sioux Lookout Cemeteries
Sioux Lookout has a history filled with stories of working families who came here for many different reasons. Most were men who began their careers with the railroad and moved their families here once they were established. Umfreville's exploration party passed through this area in 1784 but it was not until 1906, with the first survey parties for the Canadian National Railway, that people decided to stay. This initial survey party was quickly followed by the arrival of construction and bush workers. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway arrived in 1909.
As with development in any new area, the establishment of a "town" or population base is very quickly followed by the designation of a specific area in which to create a cemetery. The local Genealogy Club has established that there were earlier cemeteries used in Sioux Lookout, not located in the areas we use today.
In 1910 our town site was named "Graham" by Sir Wilfred Laurier to honor his then Minister of Railroads. It was in this same year that St. Mary's Anglican Church was established in this community.
On January 1st, 1912 the Municipality was incorporated by order of the Ontario Municipal Board as the "Town of Sioux Lookout" so named after a high point of land used by the Ojibway as a lookout area for enemies and travelers in the area. In this year, St. Andrews United Church was also established.
Sacred Heart Church was established in 1913 after years of missionary priests visiting the area established a need.
Sioux Lookout has three active cemeteries; Sacred Heart, Northway and Hillcrest which are comprised of approximately 12 acres of land. Sacred Heart and Northway are located on the north side of West Point Cove Road, and Hillcrest is located on Hillcrest Drive behind the Sunset Inn.
Both Northway and Sacred Heart Cemetery first recorded burials were in 1918. Hillcrest was established much later with its first interment taking place in 1970.
In 1941 a fire destroyed the Town Hall, and consequently the burial records. Shortly thereafter a group of residents performed a walk about and tried to recreate the records as best they could. Any graves that were not marked by a head stone were recorded according to people's memories. This was hit and misses at best, and account for many of the "unknown" graves that we have today.
At approximately three acres, Sacred Heart is traditionally recognized as the "Catholic" cemetery; however any religious denomination can be buried within these grounds. Sacred Heart is marked with a distinctive cross on the west side at the peak of the hill.
Sacred Heart has many surrounds (concrete perimeters around the lot) which were placed on the graves by family members. Traditionally, family lots were sold in groups of four called plots and the surrounds were placed on the perimeter.
Northway Cemetery is distinctive in that it contains three separate areas within its boundaries; the original southern section, the Legion section and the northern section. Total acreage of Northway is about 3.5 acres. The original southern section runs parallel with West Point Cove Road. This section has a great deal of local history contained within its boundaries. Some of the headstones in this section are quite remarkable and very unique. There are also many surrounds located in this section.
The large white building on the west of the middle portion is Northway's most distinctive feature and is known as "The Vault". Until 1959, this building was used to house the deceased who had passed away in the winter. The ground was too frozen to dig by hand, so the bodies were stored until spring when the interments were performed, usually in April or May. At times there were as many as 21 bodies in storage at once. This building is now used for storage of cemetery maintenance equipment. Renovations to the Vault were completed in 2011, which included roof repairs and restoration of the stucco exterior.
Hillcrest is our youngest cemetery. The first interment in Hillcrest took place on September 18th, 1970. When Hillcrest was developed it was to be different than the other cemeteries in that there were going to be no upright monuments within the grounds. As the years went by this thought process changed as the majority of headstones in Hillcrest are upright. Hillcrest contains a section strictly for cremations, known as the Cremation Rail. A unique feature in Hillcrest is the Iron Gate at the front entrance which was installed around 1993. This was completed not only as part of the beautification project, but to keep the snowmobiles from entering the grounds in the winter months.
Recent cemetery projects to beautify all the cemeteries have included the completion of three accessible Cemetery Seating Areas built within a landscaped setting, the removal of the old wire fence at Sacred Heart and Northway Cemeteries road entrances, and the addition of white vinyl fences at the Sacred Heart and Northway Cemeteries road entrances.
Sioux Lookout Cemeteries
The Municipality of Sioux Lookout has three cemeteries. Northway and Sacred Heart Cemetery are found along West Point Cove Road, at the end of Eighth Avenue. Hillcrest Cemetery is found at the end of Hillcrest Drive, immediately behind Sunset Inn and Suites, off Highway 72.
Full lots measure 120" by 42" in Sacred Heart and Northway Cemeteries and 120" by 48" in Hillcrest Cemetery. While burial of cremated remains is allowed in all ceme teries Cremation Graves at the Cremation Rail are only available in Hillcrest; however, cremation spots are available within adult lots in all three cemeteries.
A Cemetery Services Contract between the Interment Rights Holder of the cemetery lot and the Municipality must be signed and completed (to view the contract go to Cemetery Services Contract ). Payment in full for all cemetery services must be made before the commencement of any services. For a list of all cemetery service fees refer to the Cemetery Tariff of Rates.
Monuments and Markers
There are size and capacity restrictions on monuments or markers. A Cemetery Marker Contract between the Interment Rights Holder of the cemetery lot and the Municipality must be signed and completed (to view the contract go to Cemetery Marker Contract ). Payment of the ground preparation and Care & Maintenance fees must be paid in full before the placement of a monument or marker. Please contact the Cemeteries & Licensing Coordinator for details.
Contact the Cemeteries & Licensing Coordinator . It will be helpful if you can provide the following information: the name of the deceased, the date of death or interment of the individual, and the name of the cemetery. You may also find further information on the Sioux Lookout Genealogy Group's Website http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/
Frequently Requested Documents and Links:
Municipality of Sioux Lookout
Attention: Cemeteries & Licensing Coordinator
25 Fifth Avenue
P. O. Box 158
(T) 807-737-2700 ext. 2210