The Austin Daily Herald had contacted me awhile back about the cemeteries in Mower County and apparently the story appeared in today’s Sunday paper.

I received a phone call this afternoon from a gentleman regarding the cemetery we have known as the Bear Creek Pioneer Cemetery. Mr. Hanson, who is 84 years old and grew up in the Bear Creek area, informed me that the cemetery was actually called the Norwegian Methodist Cemetery. He went on to say that many years ago the congregation of Bear Creek split and the Norwegian Methodist Church was formed. There were then two separate churches and two separate cemeteries, Bear Creek Lutheran and Norwegian Methodist.

The Methodist Church closed after a few years and all that remains is the small overgrown cemetery across the road from Bear Creek Lutheran Church.

To complicate things even further Mr. Hanson explained that the cemetery we know as the Sever Temanson Cemetery is also known as the first Bear Creek Lutheran Cemetery, aka Bear Creek Pioneer Cemetery.

Apparently confusion about these three cemeteries has been in existence for some time. Although at one time there were references to a Norwegian Methodist Cemetery, most historical sources also had them mixed up.

Although I am dismayed that a mistake was made, Mr. Hanson has helped to clear up the confusion and shed some light on the state of disrepair of the Norwegian Methodist Cemetery. It is not a part of the Bear Creek Lutheran Cemetery and never has been. Mr. Hanson is the great-grandson of Sever Temanson.

K. Pike
March 1, 2009