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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Möðruvellir Cemetery (Riverton, Municipality of Bifrost-Riverton)

Underneath a tree in the Riverton Centennial Park lie three small marked graves, all that is left of Möðruvellir Cemetery. The cemetery is named after Möðruvellir, the original homestead of Sigtryggur Jónasson, the founder of New Iceland. Subsequently, Friðjón Friðriksson and his wife, Guðný Sigurðardóttir, took over the homestead. The graves are young three cousins from this family who passed away in the 1880s: Hermann Frederickson (1882-1885), Vilberg Friðsteinsson (1883-1885), and Vilberg Björn Sigurðsson (1868-1885). According to Guðný Sigurðardóttir, when she lost her son, Hermann in 1885, John Ramsay, the First Nations man who had helped the Icelandic settlers, had also lost his daughter. He asked if his daughter could be buried with Hermann since they were about the same age and had died about the same time, so the two children were buried together in the same grave. The Möðruvellir homestead eventually was taken over by the town of Riverton as it grew. The small cemetery is now located in the Riverton Centennial Park.

Graves of Möðruvellir Cemetery

Graves of Möðruvellir Cemetery (April 2019)
Source: Christine Loff

Möðruvellir cemetery sign

Möðruvellir cemetery sign (October 2021)
Source: Doug Anderson

Site Location (lat/long): N50.99963, W96.99484
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Sigtryggur Jónasson (1852-1942)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Riverton Centennial Park (Riverton, Municipality of Bifrost-Riverton)

Sources:

We thank Doug Anderson for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Christine Loff.

Page revised: 4 November 2021

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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