The Legacy of Ashcroft's Chinese Railroad Workers - Ashcroft, British Columbia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 50° 43.176 W 121° 16.740
10U E 621484 N 5620056
Quick Description: The Legacy of Ashcroft's Chinese Railroad Workers is in the Ashcroft Cemetery near the entrance.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 4/19/2021 11:01:49 AM
Waymark Code: WM145BG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wayfrog
Views: 0

Long Description:


As many as 17,000 Chinese men were brought to British Columbia between 1881-1884 to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway from Port Moody to Eagle Pass near Revelstoke. They were paid $1 per day, from which they had to purchase their own food, cooking and camp gear. White workers were paid $1.50 to $2 per day and were given room and board.

The Chinese workers were also given the more difficult and dangerous tasks, such as clearing and grading the roadbed, and blasting tunnels through the rocks. It is estimated that accidents, fires, landslides, dynamite blasts and lack of proper medical care killed at least 600 Chinese workers during that period of construction.

This cemetery on CPR owned land is the final resting place for many Chinese workers who helped build Canada's national railway.

The cemetery was largely unknown and ignored for many decades until early in 2005 when the Rotary and Lions clubs of Ashcroft and Cache Creek joined forces and received permission from the CPR to access and revitalize the site. The clubs continue to work together to honour the memories of these Chinese railway workers.

This cemetery on CPR owned land is the final resting place for many Chinese workers who helped build Canada's national railway.

This is the final resting place of at least 49 members of the Chinese community many of whom came here to help build the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Cemetery is on CPR property, and open to the public.
transcribed from sign

Ashcroft Chinese Cemetery is located in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. Though not currently active, the cemetery was neglected for decades. It was a period of over 15 years, that the dedicated members of the Chinese community, Ashcroft Rotary and Lion Club membership made possible the restoration of this historic cemetery completed in 2017.

The restoration of the cemetery and this sign was made possible by the dedicated membership of:

The Rotary Club of Ashcroft/Cache Creek

Ashcroft & District Lions Club

"The Chinese cemetery was developed by the CPR over 100 years ago with 49 visible grave sites including 7 with original headstones. The first internment took place in the late 1800’s and the original headstones that are still there are dated in the 1940’s - 1960’s.

The first Chinese burial in the public cemetery seems to have taken place in the early 1940’s.

Prior to that all Chinese seem to be buried in the cemetery, or their bodies shipped back to China. Some were also probably exhumed and sent back to China, a custom that was practiced at the time.

In 2005 the Ashcroft/Cache Creek Rotary and Ashcroft and District Lions took on the task of cleaning the graveyard up. They had many meetings and would also meet to pull weeds, rake, etc. In 2007 many loads of white gravel were donated, the trucks hauling the gravel were also donated as well as a small loader to use in moving the gravel."
Source: Ashcroft
Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: Pull out at entrance to the cemetery

What Agency placed the marker?: Ashcroft Lions and Rotary

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