Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Cemeteries of Coulson's Hill

Coulson's Hill was settled in 1822 by John Coulson and his family. In 1854 he donated the land for the establishment of the Anglican church and cemetery. In 1857 he would do the same for the Presbyterian church next door.

The first registered burial for the Anglican Cemetery was in 1842 for Jane Sheldon, her infant son would be buried beside her in the same year just a few months after her. The Coulson's may have been already using this site for a burial ground. It was not unusual for members of the neighboring farms to also bury their loved one in an area already established for burials.

Both cemeteries are still in use and well maintained, but the two church buildings are no longer used. The Anglican parish is now located in the town of Bradford.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Auld Scotch Settlement Presbyterian Cemetery- Bradford Ont.

Settled in 1819 by Highland Scots from Lord Selkirk's Red River colony. The first makeshift building was erected on this site in 1823 a second was built in 1827 and the present day church in 1869.

Services were held in Gaelic initially from the settler's native Scotland. The Auld Kirk Scotch settlement was the first and the largest settlement in all of Simcoe County. Many of the original settlers are buried in the cemetery within the church property. 

Services ending in 1940 when the church proved to be outdated and too small.  This location is now maintained by the municipality and is a designated historic site.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Apto (St. Patrick's) Catholic Cemetery, Springwater

Apto (St. Patrick's) Roman Catholic Cemetery is located on the north side of Horseshoe Valley Rd. east of Hwy 26 (Bayfield Rd) in Springwater (formally Flo's Twsp).

The land that the cemetery is situated on was donated by Patrick McAvoy in 1855 and was deed to the Roman Catholic Church in 1856.  There are burials on this land that predate the deed, probably by the McAvoy family who had buried several family members starting in 1847.

Back in the mid 1800's, Apto was a stop over for those travelling between Barrie and Penetanguishene. 

The site supported a church building and rectory until 1904 when the buildings were sold for $ 2,400.00. and eventually demolished. The parish was relocated and a new cemetery was established in Midhurst. The old cemetery continued in use until 1908 when the last burial of Michael Kelly took place.

In 1998, what was left of the old head stones were gathering into a cairn. The cairn was positioned between three family monuments, Hayes, McMahon and Savage, which still stand in there original positions. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

St James Anglican Cemetery, Crown Hill, Springwater ON

Grave or Gilbert Ord Lightbourn  O.B.E, M.A, D.D
Archdeacon of Simcoe

Grave of The Honorable Ernest Charles Drury
Premier of Ontario 1919 - 1923

St. James Church circa 1900.

St. James Anglican Church Cemetery is located next to the now Holy Cross St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church on Penetanguishene Road, in Crown Hill. 

The land for the Anglican Church and cemetery was donated by Thomas Mair in 1852. Services were held for over a century, then the last Anglican service was held on Easter Sunday in 1970.  Since 1984 the Greek Orthodox church has held services here. 

The cemetery contains the final resting place for many of the original settlers of the area. Some of the more notable burials are that of the Honourable Ernest Charles Drury, Premier of Ontario 1919 - 1923 and Gilbert Ord Lightbourn, O.B.E, M.A., D.D, Archdeacon of Simcoe.

Burials still continue for both the Anglican and Greek Orthodox parishes.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bethesda Congregational Cemetery, Oro-Medonte ON

Bethesda Congregational Cemetery is located on the north side of Old Barrie Rd, just west of Line 2 in Oro-Medonte.  The congregation was originally established in 1838 by Rev. Ari Raymond and his wife who were sent to the area by the Congregational Church Mission in Boston to administer to the black community.

The original church on this site burnt to the ground in 1845. In 1846 Rev. Raymond built another house on this land and held services in the kitchen for many years.  In 1859 another wooden framed church was built and it was bricked over in 1890.  The congregation closed in 1899 and the church building was finally removed in 1965. In 1971 a memorial cairn was erected on the property.

The first burial took place around the early 1830's the last was in 2010.  The cemetery still receives burials for those who hold family plots.

Rugby Congregtional Cemetery, Rugby, Ontario

Located on Old Barrie Rd near 12th Line or Conc. 12, Lot 11 is the little cemetery known as Rugby Congregational Cemetery.  There is no cairn or plaque located here, just a small patch next to an old building, east of the Rugby Community Hall.  

The cemetery probable saw it's first burial in 1831 when little Mary Brown aged 4 years, 11 months died on September 15th, 1831.  This was followed by William Brown in 1834 at the age of 44 years. 

The congregation was not formed until 1847 by Rev. Ari Raymond, who built the church that once stood here and established the cemetery. The land was more than likely owned by the Brown family and used as a family burial plot until the congregation was established.

The congregation survived until the Methodist and Congregational church union in 1925 (United Church of Canada), then it moved to Hawkstone.  Sometime after that the church building was demolished, leaving the cemetery to mark the spot.  The last burial appears to have taken place in the early 1930's. 

The cemetery is closed and receives minimal maintenance. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Knox Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Oro-Medonte

Located on the north west corner of Old Barrie Road and the 9th Line is Knox Presbyterian Church Cemetery.  In 1842 a log school house was built on the south east corner of lot 12 conc 9 on the farm of Samuel Jermey. The Presbyterians held services there until they had built their own place of worship.

A church was eventually built by volunteer labour on lot 11 conc. 9 in 1844 with the assistance of a grant from the Hon.Isaac Buchanan of Hamilton Ontario.  The church was open for service in 1845 and held its last service in 1900.  Over the years the wooden church fell into disrepair, but was restored and is now used only for an annual memorial service held on the last weekend of June.

If you look inside of this small white washed building you will still see the wooden pews and pulpit. As well as the wood burning stove with the long pipe that runs the length the building to provide heat during the cold Canadian winters.

The cemetery is large and well maintained and is still in use to this day.