Potter's Field

The open area next to Section 'R', at the southern end of Union Cemetery is the last resting place for about one thousand of early Calgary's homeless and indigent. Though we know some of their names, they are often listed in the records using epithets such as "Nameless Man" or "Chinaman". Also interred in Potter's field is the bodies of at least one criminal executed in the Guard room of the old Calgary NWMP barracks: Ernest Cashel, a murderer who escaped custody twice before finally being captured and facing the ultimate punishment. The first internment in this area took place in 1904. Of late, a number of "streeet kids" have been spending the night at Union Cemetery, taking advantage of the peace and isolation within the inner city. Think of them when you walk through Potter's Field.

The name "Potter's Field", the traditional name for the unmarked graves of the nameless, is a Biblical reference from Matthew 27:6-7.


Return to Union Cemetery index