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Historic church celebrates 100th anniversary

A century ago brave pioneers from Oklahoma left the land they knew and were suffering in to seek out a better life on the Canadian prairies.
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Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart in Krydor celebrated its 100 year anniversary June 13.

A century ago brave pioneers from Oklahoma left the land they knew and were suffering in to seek out a better life on the Canadian prairies.

Most of these African American families settled in Alberta while a small group homesteaded north of Maidstone in the Eldon district. At the peak of the community in the 1920s there were more than 50 families, but all that remains of the local settlement is a graveyard, a tiny log church, a few precious photographs and the memories and stories of the families.

This summer the Shiloh Baptist Church and Cemetery Restoration Society is hosting Saskatchewan's Black Pioneer and Descendants, 100th Anniversary Celebration.

Over the last few years the society has undertaken a major restoration of the church and continued to collect information about the families and the site. Aug. 14, descendants of the settlers are gathering to learn about their ancestors, the burial practices of the African American settlers and visit the site still standing as a reminder of faith and the quest for a better life.

The event will include time at the Shiloh Baptist Church and a dinner and program at Milleton Hall. There are a limited number of tickets available by contacting [email protected] before the end of July.

Shiloh Baptist Church is located 26 kilometres northeast of Maidstone and is open to visitors all summer long.