This site in the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn contains the single grave of Hulda Ostman (1910-1912), one of ten children born to Swedish immigrants Nils Erik Ostman and Lisa Margreta Sihlen. The circumstances of the child’s early death are unknown. The present grave marker was erected in the 1950s by employees of Ducks Unlimited Canada to replace an earlier, deteriorated wooden one. A fence was built around the marker in the 1980s and the site received periodic maintenance by staff of Manitoba Conservation. The fence was replaced by a more robust one sometime between 2013 and 2019.
Access to the site is difficult. It may be reached in either of two ways: from the north on a trail off Highway 12 or from the south on a track off Highway 201. The north route entails crossing a small water retention dam beside Sundown Lake that is not passable with motor vehicles. Additionally, there are serious and significant quality issues with the trail using the northern approach from Highway 12. Use of this route is not recommended. Instead, use the south route on an unnamed, single-lane, poorly maintained track, located about seven kilometres east of Sundown (or four kilometres west of Menisino) on Highway 201.
Ostman Grave (August 2013)
Source: Jean McManus
Ostman Grave (December 2019)
Source: Donna Danyluk & Ian Ward
Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.13205, W96.20232
denoted by symbol on the map above
Mr. Tighe McManus, who visited this site in 2013, advises:
A visit to the grave site was made on 22 August 2013, during a period of hot dry weather, using a mid-size SUV, with sufficient ground clearance that the “hump” on the track was not an issue and having access to four wheel drive, although this was not used. The following photo (from Google Streetview) illustrates the initial several hundred meters of the cart track and is indicative of the quality of the whole track on the day travelled.
A trip on this track was equivalent to travelling in the wilderness and travellers should ensure that their vehicles are appropriately equipped with all the proper emergency gear and a full tank of gas. Should an emergency occur, you are on your own. There is NO cell phone service in the area (or in most of southeastern Manitoba). Additionally, most of the populated localities in the area would best be described as small hamlets, with absolutely NO services. The nearest centre with a full range of services is located at Vita, 38 km to the west of the cart track junction and Highway 201 or Sprague, 44 km to the east of the cart track junction and Highway 201. Gas is also available at Woodridge, Vassar, and South Junction.
The grave site is 4.05 km north of the cart track’s junction with Highway 201. There is a turn-around loop at the grave site. The forest area around the grave site contains copious amounts of poison ivy. There are black bears in the area, as evidenced by scat on the cart track. There was a geocache site near the grave.
Our trip was very enjoyable and nothing untoward occurred.
“Her grave is ‘just like a lost soul’” by Bill Redekop, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 January 2012.
We thank Donna Danyluk and Ian Ward for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Tighe McManus, Jean McManus, and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 12 January 2020
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