Identification efforts and beautification work is complete at the historic Old Men’s Provincial Cemetery on 6th Avenue, the final resting place of over 1,000 individuals—predominantly men—dating back to the late 1800s.
The men came to Kamloops from around the world to make a living as fur trappers, loggers, miners, ranchers, railway workers, bridge and road builders, and many other jobs.
In 2020, ground-penetrating radar was deployed to help identify the location of burial quadrants. With those findings, decorative cairns with the names of the individuals buried in the cemetery were installed. Historical records from the cemetery and information from local historians were used to gather the names, birth places, and occupations of the men buried on site.
In conjunction with National Tree Day on September 20, 2023, the beautification improvements at the cemetery were unveiled and include an arboretum featuring 40 new trees with unique characteristics, many of which represent the countries the men originated from. Corresponding informational signage along a new perimeter walking path have been installed as well as a labyrinth and art feature.
A grant-funded collaboration with Tourism Kamloops will see year-round uplighting added to the arboretum as a way to showcase the beauty of the trees, increase visibility, and improve safety in the area.
With help from funds donated by members of the Sagebrush Neighbourhood Association, a new gateway entrance has also been added as an enhancement.