Twenty-nine km northeast of Maidstone in the Rural Municipality of Eldon, Saskatchewan, Canada, stands a small log building that was once the center of an African American pioneer community.
Today, a graveyard known as the Shiloh Baptist Cemetery and the nearby log building called Shiloh Baptist Church are all that remain of this community. Those who settled there are now remembered as the Shiloh People. Shiloh Baptist Church stands today, a visible reminder of the Black pioneer’s faith and desire to build a better life.
Today Shiloh Baptist Church and Cemetery is a municipal historic site cited under bylaw 114:
In this bylaw, the significance of Shiloh Baptist Church and Cemetery is described as follows:
1. The Charlow (Shiloh) Church was constructed in approximately 1912 and it was the Church used by the first Negro community in Saskatchewan.
2. The Charlow (Shiloh) Cemetery is the only Negro cemetery in Saskatchewan.
Why funding is required:
My name is Leander K Lane and have been president of the Shiloh Baptist Church and Cemetery Restoration Society since 2002. Although Shiloh is a popular tourist site and receives hundreds of visitors each year we charge no admission.
Nonetheless it is our responsibility to keep this historic site safe for all. Shiloh Baptist Church and Cemetery consist of 1 acre of land. Much of it open field which needs to be mowed at least weekly throughout the summer season. The cemetery itself needs constant attention or the brush and weeds takes over. The church needs cleaning throughout the season. Fortunatly we are able hire a local resident to perform all these duties throughout the season.
Although this site is protected under the municipal bylaw, the designation offers no funding for the yearly maintenance costs which amount to $1250.00 per year. All costs are paid by the society through donations and grants. Unfortunately we came up $650.00 short for last season’s maintenance while this season fast approaches.
Please help this Society to cover these maintenance costs for the next several years to come. In doing so you are helping to preserve an important, and little known part, of Saskatchewan history.
Thank you for your consideration.
Leander K Lane
- Joyce Works
- Candace Knoll
- Leandra Lane
- Denessia Swanegan
Organizer and beneficiary
Leander K Lane