02/04/2013 10:25 EST | Updated 04/06/2013 05:12 EDT

Fernie funeral directors hunt for forgotten graves

Two funeral directors in Fernie, B.C., are trying to locate hundreds of forgotten graves in the city.

Corolyn Haarstad and her business partner have spent 12 years going through historical records. They believe there are 393 people who died in Fernie but are not in the town's cemetery.

She thinks some of them may have been buried in unmarked graves.

“You have to consider this was miners,” she said. “A single man would come here to Canada for a better life and send his money back home to his family.”

Haarstad says historical records and survey maps show four long-forgotten burial sites throughout the city.

"The old timers in town or the people who once knew that [the graves] were there had passed on and in the day it was just not talked about."

Haarstad is hoping the city of Fernie will help her find the remains and protect the burial sites.

"These are the people that built this valley. If it weren't for these people who immigrated here and started raising their families here, we wouldn't be here,” she said.

“We're just really hoping to get on board with the city to try and locate as many of these people as we can."