The B.C. Penitentiary Cemetery will be unveiled in New Westminster Wednesday night. (City of New Westminster)

Newly restored BC Penitentiary cemetery to be revealed

The BC Pen in New Westminster was a federal prison that operated from 1878 to 1980

New Westminster is set to reveal some history on Wednesday evening as it unveils the newly restored B.C. Penitentiary Cemetery.

The cemetery houses the bodies of inmates never claimed by families or friends.

It used to be attached the federal prison that operated in New Westminster from 1878 to 1980. Burials on the site began in 1913 and continued up until 1968.

“The BC Penitentiary Cemetery is a bit of hidden history in New Westminster,” said Coun. Jaimie McEvoy. “We want to acknowledge the past, educate, and inform future generations of those buried here and fulfill our municipal responsibility of maintaining our cemeteries.”

READ MORE: William Head prison offers inmates a second chance at life

READ MORE: Canadian prison guards outraged over needle exchange program for inmates

Access to the cemetery was blocked by a nearby development for years, but hours of cleaning, restoration and finding of unmarked graves have it ready for its grand re-opening.


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