Posted by: geonarcissa | June 24, 2010

Polish Cemetery in Wilno, Ontario

Wilno was Canada’s first Polish settlement, and still retains its Polish heritage today. The village boasts an impressive Catholic church on a mountainside, a Polish tavern, a museum about the town’s heritage and railway history, and hundreds of obviously Polish surnames on road signs and mailboxes for miles around.

On our way to find a geocache, Taoiseach and I spotted an old Polish-Catholic cemetery. The graveyard is a quiet testament to the tenacity of the people who settled here – Wilno was a comparatively successful settlement in an area dotted with ghost towns – and the unforgiving nature of the Canadian Shield landscape they tried to cultivate. Many of the grave markers are simple wooden crosses. While there are obvious signs of decay, it is also obvious that some old grave markers have been replaced with newer ones. One modest grave marker simply states the name of a young mother “and five infant children.” The stone is surrounded by five wooden crosses bearing the names of children who didn’t survive their first year.

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Responses

  1. Love the “different” cemetery. Great shots as usual!


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