August 28, 2018 6:33 pm
Updated: August 29, 2018 9:18 am

Headstone recognizes Saskatoon pioneer’s grave after unmarked for over 130 years

A headstone was placed in the Pioneer Cemetery to mark the gravesite of a Saskatoon pioneer who drowned in 1887.

Phillip Bollman / Global News
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A part of Saskatoon’s pioneer history was set in stone, to remember one of the city’s earliest citizens.

A headstone was placed in the Pioneer Cemetery Tuesday to officially mark where Nevil Pendygrasse was buried.

READ MORE: Pioneer Cemetery sheds light on Saskatoon’s first residents


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Nevil, along with his brothers Sefton and Harold Pendygrasse, came to Saskatoon from Ireland in 1885.

Two years later, at the age of 20, Nevil drowned in the South Saskatchewan River after he fell off the ferry.

In 1892, Nevil’s mother homesteaded the quarter section, which is now defined by Taylor Street, Ruth Street, Lorne Avenue and the river.

Obert Friggstad is not related to the Pendygrasse family, but he helped oversee and pay for the headstone to mark Nevil’s grave.

Friggstad said he feels a connection, as he has lived in the Pendygrasse House on St. Henry Avenue since 1972. The house was built in 1910 by Harold Pendygrasse.

“Over our 46 years here, we’ve connected with some of the history,” Friggstad said.

READ MORE: Saskatoon headstones broken in ‘sickening’ cemetery vandalism

Friggstad communicated with Pendygrasse relatives to solve where exactly Nevil was buried.

“That’s the beginning of the story and this would be the end of that story. We were able to locate with some hard work, and lots of conversations with the city and archives, to locate the plot that Nevil is buried in.”

Pendygrasse Road in Saskatoon was also named after the pioneer family.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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