Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Gimli Icelandic Pioneer Cemetery (Gimli, RM of Gimli)

In this cemetery at Gimli, designated in 2007 by the Rural Municipality of Gimli as a municipal heritage site, is a monument commemorating victims of a smallpox epidemic in 1876-1877. Over six months all but 11 homesteads were infected by the disease. Many settlers were disfigured, 102 died, mostly children and the young. The pioneers buried their dead on their homesteads, in this cemetery, or in cemeteries at Nes on the Icelandic River or at Husavik.

This is the first Icelandic cemetery established in Manitoba and the oldest Icelandic public cemetery in Canada.

Gimli Icelandic Pioneer Cemetery

Gimli Icelandic Pioneer Cemetery (September 2010)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Gimli Icelandic Pioneer Cemetery

Gimli Icelandic Pioneer Cemetery (August 2020)
Source: George Penner

Smallpox commemorative monument in the Gimli Icelandic Pioneer Cemetery

Smallpox commemorative monument in the Gimli Icelandic Pioneer Cemetery (November 2020)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.63919, W96.99466
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites


A list of burials in this cemetery is available from the Manitoba Genealogical Society, including a searchable online database available to members at the MGS Manitoba Name Index (MANI). Some additional information is contained in the 1996 MGS publication Carved in Stone: Manitoba Cemeteries and Burial Sites, revised edition, Special Projects Publication, 106 pages.

We thank Peter McClure, Rose Kuzina, and George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 May 2022

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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