Old Mortuary

From BCMystery Wiki: The Work of W.H. Cameron / Bill Cameron
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Old Mortuary refers to the original funeral home owned by the Bouton family in the Melisende Dulac Series.


Built by Eugène de Bouton in the 1890s, the Old Mortuary is the original location of Bouton Funerary Service on Shatter Hill, adjacent to the Pioneer Cemetery.

In the early days, the spot had an adequate spring, which gave it value beyond simply a place to build coffins and hold funerals. The Boutons maintained a bunkhouse, cookhouse, and smithy for cattlemen and sheepmen who ran herds on the Shatter Hill table land. They also offered hospitality of miners and other travelers.

But as irrigation of the valley lands to the south increased, the water table dropped and the spring died. The family dug a well, but the available water could no longer support a large, busy community, especially as their funeral business increased. So the bunk- and cookhouses were razed and the location became only a mortuary and family home.

In time, even its use as a mortuary became less viable and the family built the New Mortuary in Samuelton. In 1974, the business moved into town, with the Old Mortuary serving as family home and site of only the occasional funeral.