Isabella Mainville Ross

Virtual Tour of Ross Bay Cemetery
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11. Isabella Mainville Ross

Despite being the person the cemetery is named for, Isabella Ross’s grave was unmarked. In 1994 the Old Cemeteries Society erected the marker shown in the photo. It is a replica headboard similar to many once found in the cemetery.

Block: C
Plot: 9 E 22

BC’s first registered female landowner

Isabella Mainville Ross was the wife of fur trader Charles Ross. Her father, Joseph Mainville was Ogibway and her mother, Josette, was Saulteau. After her husband died, she bought 99 acres of waterfront farmland, and thus became the first woman registered as a land owner in BC.

Isabella died in 1885 while being cared for by the Sisters of St. Ann. She was buried on land that had once belonged to her, within site of her old home, near the bay that bears her name in Ross Bay Cemetery.