- Cemetery Question & Answer Guide
- Cemetery Fees & Charges
- Aberdeen Cemetery History
- Hazelwood Cemetery History
- Mt. Lehman Cemetery History
- Musselwhite Cemetery History
- Cemetery Contacts
The City of Abbotsford owns and operates four cemeteries: Aberdeen, Hazelwood, Mt. Lehman and Musselwhite.
Each cemetery is rich with the personal, family, and settlement stories of the pioneers and early settlers. Today the cemeteries are landscaped and maintained in park-like settings with views to the nearby mountains and the Fraser Valley. These historic places are cultural resources, community assets and provide an ongoing legacy for generations of the Fraser Valley residents.
This modest cemetery is located about 1.6 kilometers east of Aldergrove, at 28417 Fraser Highway. Traditionally, Aberdeen served the community of Aldergrove in the Township of Langley as well as residents on the Abbotsford (and prior to amalgamation, the Matsqui) side of the municipal border.
History and Information
- Aberdeen was established sometime in the 1880s, based on the dates of the earliest gravestones, but it may in fact be older as Aldergrove was settled at an earlier date.
- A number of pioneer families are represented in this cemetery.
- One notable interment is that of Charles Hill-Tout (1858- 1944). Born in England and educated at Oxford University, he was an early Abbotsford settler, who ran a local mill, and was also renowned for his pioneering ethnographic and anthropological field work among the Salish people.
- Aberdeen Cemetery also includes Veteran graves, and is (included) part of the Maple Leaf Legacy Project for Veteran graves.
This is Abbotsford’s largest municipal cemetery, and the most centrally located, at 34070 Hazelwood Avenue. Hazelwood has many opportunities and boasts many new amenities and visual attractions.
History and Information
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- Hazelwood Cemetery was established in the 1920s. It was originally named after the Maclure Family, reflected in the name of the Maclure Road Mennonite Cemetery, which is adjacent to Hazelwood Cemetery.
- Veterans from the First and Second World Wars are honoured by the monument of two gatepost cairns, constructed in 1972, at the entrance to Hazelwood Cemetery.
- There are two Canadian Legion areas (Old and New) and a small Legion memorial. The Legion area is cleaned every year by volunteers.
- This section of Hazelwood Cemetery has been reserved for war veterans and their spouses only.
- 12 Royal Air Force members who were killed while training at Abbotsford Airport are buried at Hazelwood. These Royal Air Force graves are looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
- The only mausoleum in any of the civic cemeteries is located here in the older section, the Mercer Family Vault. The vault was built between 1919 and 1924, by Benn Mercer (1850-1933), and holds the remains of six members of the Mercer family. Benn Mercer was from Ireland, immigrated to Canada in the early 1880s, and to British Columbia in the late 1880s. The Mercers farmed land in the Matsqui / Ridgedale area, before relocating to the B.C. Interior. Benn Mercer lived on Boundary Road South in Burnaby at the time of his death.
- There are paved internal access roads, a wide parking lot for visitors and public washroom facilities at Hazelwood.
Traditional Casket Burial/Interment; Currently, Hazelwood is the only City Cemetery that offers casket burial interments. All graves are single depth, with companions wishing to be laid to rest together being placed side-by-side. Up to six cremated remains are permitted on a full burial site. Each set of cremated remains placed will require a Right of Interment and can only be placed with the permission of the family.
In-Ground Cremation Interment
Cremation lots at Hazelwood are 2’x2’ and can accommodate up to 2 urns per grave site. Each set of cremated remains placed requires a Right of Interment.
Columbaria (Niche Walls)
A Columbarium is an above-ground, multi-level structure composed of a number of niches to house cremated remains. Niches are 12” x 12” x 16” and can be purchased for single or double occupancy. They can easily accommodate up to 2 standard size urns.
In Ground Vaults
The vaults are 12” x 12” x 16” and are constructed of concrete with internal liners. They can hold up to two urns each and their granite face can be adorned with an 8”x12” bronze memorial.
Ossuary and Scatter Gardens
The Ossuary is an in-ground receptacle in which cremated remains are co-mingled. A 3”x4” bronze memorial can be placed on the granite pillow located in an adjacent landscaped area.
Scatter Gardens are special landscaped areas where cremated remains can be dispersed. The Cemetery Caretakers maintain the garden for the benefit of families represented there and Cemetery visitors. A 3”x4” bronze memorial can be placed on one of two granite memorial pillows located in the garden.
Parks Gift Program (Memorial Trees & Benches)
Commemorate a loved one with a tree or a park bench placed in the Cemetery, or a Park, with a special memorial plaque honoring your loved one.
The Parks Gift Program brochure and application explains the program in detail.
Mt. Lehman Cemetery
The community of Mt. Lehman is a historic farming community with strong historical roots in the Fraser Valley, with the Cemetery located in the 29000 block of Taylor Road.
History and Information
- Originally a small rural Cemetery that appears to have been established in the 1880s, the date of the earliest visible headstones.
- Mt. Lehman is the smallest civic Cemetery with a site area of only 0.41 hectare (1 acre).
- Notable burials include the Lehman family: Katherine (1834-1884); Lucy Hannah (1861-1923); Thomas Henry (1863-1935); Thomas, son of Thomas and Lucy Lehman (1893-1894); and Carson (1873-1944).
- For visitors, Mt. Lehman Cemetery gives the impression of an old country garden carved out of the second growth forest.
- The trees and benches within the burial area provide intimate sitting areas, and mature cypress trees mark the boundaries between the roadway and the cemetery itself. The site is bright and open, as a result of its exposure to both the south and east. In addition, the small wooden storage building evokes the period when much of the Abbotsford area was settled in the early twentieth century.
Musselwhite Cemetery is located in the 35000 block of Old Yale Road at the intersection of Marshall Road.
History and Information
- Musselwhite Cemetery was established in 1892 and has an area of 1.7 hectares (4.3 acres).
- The cemetery was named for John Musselwhite, who was a Royal Engineer. After leaving the Engineers, Musselwhite was granted land where the Whatcom Trail and Yale Road met. He proceeded to homestead and a short time later the area was named after him. A small village sprung up around his homestead, including a school, called Musselwhite Elementary School in 1909, but the only remaining evidence of this early settlement is this cemetery. The land was donated by farmer Jackson van Buren Means; his headstone transcription reads:
- “In Loving Memory of Jackson Van Buren Means Born Misery (sic), U.S.A. 1839 Died at Abbotsford, Feb. 7, 1915 Aged 76 years.”
- The first person to be buried here was in 1892–Mrs. Annie Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Musselwhite. The Musselwhites and their other daughter are among the many local pioneers who have been laid to rest in this historic cemetery.
- There are many beautiful headstones with decorative embellishments and funerary symbolisms that contribute to the historic significance and visual charm.
- This is a special site with enduring qualities that have continued to draw local families to it as a resting place for over a hundred years.
- Phone: 604-851-4198
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org