The Bell





Snaasen Pioneer Cemetery: Memorial Services

The following information is from an old Estevan website

On September 20, 1981 an outdoor service was held at 3.00 p.m. Pastors Wayne Berg and Harley Johnson presided over the service.

The program was as follows: Ted Lindgren gave the opening remarks. Pastor Berg gave the meditation, the congregation and attendants sang several hymns. The scripture was read by Nora Ross, a self composed poem was read by Edna Hildahl. Irene Hildahl read her ‘Memories'. The Snaasen Singers, (sometimes called the choir) led by Nora Ross sang several hymns. For the text of ‘Memories' of Irene Hildahl please see the start of the Cemetery section

Harvey Ross took charge of the public address system for this event. The service was followed by coffee, refreshments and fellowship. Eric Sandstrom provided a motor home to accommodate the food service.

Second Memorial Service

On June 10, 1984 at 3.30 p.m. an outdoor memorial service was held at the Snaasen Cemetery site. This was the 80th anniversary of the Snaasen congregation.

Pastor Berg was the presiding Pastor. Ted Lingren welcomed those in attendance. Scripture was read by Clarence Lindgren, and Ted Lindgren gave a talk about the cemetery. Nora Ross read her ‘Memories', and the Snaasen Singers presented hymns directed by Nora. There was congregational singing as well. There was a quartet performance by Edna Hildahl, Alma Lindgren, Gladys Lindgren and Nora Ross. Another musical number wasby the trio of Edna and Harvey Hildahl and Nora Ross. Poems were read by Gladys Lindgren and Edna Hildahl. Harvey Ross took charge again of the sound system at this service.

After prayer and the doxology, coffee was served. Eric Sandstrom provided his motor home to accommodate the serving of refreshments.

The following is a poem by Edna Hildahl:


1. We've gathered here today
     On a balmy summer day,
In a lonely country churchyard,
     Where we now our tribute pay.

2. It was in the year 1904
     This land of ours was new
Our forefathers came here eager
To start their life anew.

3. They worked hard to make a living
     Clear the land and make a home,
But they found that in their striving
     They often felt so alone.

4. And somewhere on the prairies
     In this vicinity
Some babies small, we know not where
     Were buried quietly

5. Now one of these was a baby
     But some remembered still
Of the group today assembled
     'Tis sad, but this is God's will

6. It soon became quite evident
     A gravesite need was clear
So folliwng the year 1904
     The cemetery was chose here.

7. They were grateful for God's mercies,
     So much kindness He had shown!
Then a church they built to worship Him
     A place to call their own.

8. Many years they came to worship God
     This is the very place,
But since the Snaasen building's gone
     The gravesite's the only trace.

9. Many members that were faithful
     Are not buried in this place
But their memory lingers onward
     Like the laurels of a race.

10. So let's gratefully remember
     The efforts they did not spare,
We'll show thankfulness and reverence
     With silence and a prayer.

The following is a copy of Nora Ross's ‘Memories'

My remembrance is about Snaasen Church. As a former member of the congregation, I was asked to contribute something to the service today, but I thought I had nothing to contribute. Then as I looked through my scrapbook and souvenirs, I found an old scribbler which I had used when taking my grade XI correspondence course. As I turned the pages I saw a paragraph I had written about "The Old Country Church", which happened to be Snaasen. It was a short paragraph, so I have added a few lines.

The Old Country Church

I remember the old country church as it stood all alone out on the vast level plain. As I sit alone and wonder, memories of bygone days return to me and I clearly see the interior of the little old church. This church was once new, but this is what I remember before it was sold and moved away.

I remember how our voices echoed as we spoke when the church was empty. I can see the plaster on the front wall crumbled down. I can see the old battered organ and hear it pouring forth its soft strains of music. I remember well the white altar where we knelt, the white pulpit in which the preacher stood and delivered his message of blessing on Sundays. Then I recall too, the dull cool odor in the room as we entered it and the lonely creaking sound in the floor as we walked up the narrow aisle between the rows of stately seats.

I remember the beautiful Church windows as well as the bell which was rung by pulling a rope. Then there were the Christmas and Easter programs as well as confirmations, baptisms, funerals and conventions. A familiar sight were the families visiting outside before and after church. To the south side of the Church was the present cemetery which always seemed to be a part of Snaasen Church and today is very well kept.

Then as we know, the people are the church, so in a sense the Church still remains.

I will close with these words:

Yesterday is but a dream, And tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes Every yesterday a dream of happiness, And every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore, to this day.

Third Memorial Service

The former Snaasen members extended an invitation to attend an open air service at the Snaasen Pioneer Cemetery on Sunday, June 23, 1991 at 7.00 p.m.

Pastors Wayne Berg and Stewart Miller were the presiding Pastors. Ted Lindgren gave the opening greetings.

The service began with the ringing of the bell - on tape. Vinola Anderson presented a taped solo. Hymns were sung by all present, with prayers and meditation given by the Pastors.

A self composed poem was read by Edna Hildahl and another poem was read by Alma Lindgren. Devotions were presented by Ruby Boyer and two duets were sung. The duet members were Harvey and Vivian Hildahl, and Pastor Miller and Shelley Ruecker. Another musical number was presented by the quartet of Alma and Gladys Lindgren,, Edna Hildahl, and Nora Ross.

Excerpts from letters received by Irene Hildahl were read by Mary Lindgren.

A wreath was placed by Ted Lindgren at the sign planter.

Bill Mooney and his wife took care of the sound system. Following the service there was good fellowship and Eric Sandstrom once again provided the motor home for coffee and refreshments. Many people assisted in various ways and their help was greatly appreciated in making these services such memorable events and Praise and Thanks to God.

Irene Hildahl's quote was "May these be lasting memories for the years to come, so that this project which has just begun, may be upheld in the future.

It was announced at this service that Ted Lindgren, Mary Lindgren, and Irene Hildahl, who have been consistent presiding caretakers of the Cemetery since the onset of the project would no longer be active at the task. Now, other Estevan Trinity Lutheran Church Members would be taking active charge of its care.

The following is an excerpt from a letter to Irene Hidahl from Ruth Westerberg, Adele Hildahl, George Hildahl, and Henry Hildahl, members of the family of Mrs. John Hildahl, buried at Snaasen Pioneer Cemetery in 1910. All these family members live in Portland, Oregon.

Dear friends,

We want to thank the Snaasen Cemetery Committee, our good relatives and friends who have preserved and beautified the cemetery and now at a Remembrance Day Service will honor our loved ones and unite us all.

Following is a quote of Samuel Smiles in remembrance of our dear Grandmother, Mrs. John Hildahl buried there in 1910.

"No good thing is ever lost. Nothing dies not even life which gives up one form only to resume another. No good action, no good example dies. It lives forever in our race. While the frame moulders and disappears, the deed leaves an indelible stamp, and moulds the very thought and will of future generations."

The following is an excerpt of a letter to Irene Hildahl from Mrs.( R.H.) Mable V. Goetjen (Fryck) from Duncan, British Columbia, who also has family buried at the Cemetery:

In remembrance of all those who have fallen asleep in Jesus may I dedicate this poem by an unknown poet, slightly adapted:

Dead? They are breathless with wonder
Understanding at the last His grace,
Feasting their eyes on the matchless
Loveliness of His face.
Dead? Can we call it dying
That life is filled to the brim?
DEAD? In the light of His presence?
They are LIVING, forever with Him!