Norwegian Cemetery

8700 Brooke Road
Delta, BC

Built: 1919
 

The Norwegian Cemetery is located at the corner of Brooke and Dunlop Streets in the historic Scandinavian community of Annieville in North Delta. Originally set in a remote forested landscape, the cemetery is now surrounded by suburban development. It consists of a flat grassed terrain, with a number of raised markers laid out on an east-west axis, and is surrounded by mature deciduous trees.

Status: Still Exists

Norwegian Cemetery - 2006
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Heritage Value

Dedicated in 1919, the Norwegian Cemetery in North Delta reflects the strength and continuity of the Scandinavian fishing community that settled in the neighbourhoods of Annieville and Sunbury in the late nineteenth century. These settlers were drawn by the booming fishing and canning industries centred on this part of the Fraser River. Anchored by Trinity Norwegian Lutheran Church on River Road, the growth of the close-knit Norwegian community led to the establishment of a local cemetery. Many founding Norwegian families such as the Gundersons, Dahls, Mackies, Iversons, Johnsons and Norums are buried in this cemetery. Turned over to the Municipality of Delta in 1967, it continues to serve the local community and is now known as the North Delta Cemetery.

This cemetery is also valued for the variety of headstones and markers, of materials such as roughcast and polished granite, sandstone, and cement, in styles such as upright, ledger stones, and curbed. Many of the headstones display imagery of fishing, further emphasizing the interconnection of this industry and the Norwegian community. The markers also display the changing tastes, values and economies that have directed the cemetery's development and configuration over time.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Norwegian Cemetery include its:

  • corner location on flat terrain, with an open expanse of lawn with healthy vegetation and plantings surrounded by mature deciduous trees
  • location within historic Annieville community
  • orderly and open spatial qualities with the plots along an east-west axis on evenly graded topography
  • different methods of commemoration over time, including the move to more uniform horizontal lawn markers after the 1960s
  • variety of headstone styles, such as shouldered and screen headstones, and flat plaque and slat-faced markers with or without cement convex ground ledgers or stone curbing delineating family plots
  • variety of headstone materials, such as carved granite, cement, and sandstone
  • dedicatory symbols, such as boat and fishing imagery and floral motifs