Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sharon Burying Ground, Sharon

Sharon Burying Ground
The Sharon Burying Ground, aka Children of Peace Burying Ground, was est in 1820, although oral tradition has it that the burial ground was being used as early as 1818.  At this time the land was owned by John Crone, who was not a member of the Children of  Peace.  The first member of the Children of Peace to be buried here was David Terry in 1820, who owned the west half of the land. The original cemetery was 82.5ft by 82.5ft, and it is in this area that most of the existing stones lay. The cemetery was expanded in 1878 when Jacob Lundy and his wife Hannah sold the northwest corner to the Trustees of the Children of Peace for $73.00. The last burial took place in 1935 and the cemetery was then officially closed.  The Burying Ground was designated an historical site in 1993.

Grave Stones of the Children of Peace
 The head stones of the Children of Peace are all orientated north-south.  Nonmembers of the Children of Peace also used the cemetery, they placed their graves along the south east fence line and orientated the stones east-west.

Grave Stones of nonmembers of the Children of Peace

Plaque and Iron Cemetery Gate 
 The iron gate and fence located on the east side of Leslie Street was donated by John Smith in 1927 as a memorial to his parents. The plaque was placed here in 1993 by the East Gwillimbury LACAC.

Graves of David & Phebe Willson

David Willson Leader of the Children of Peace
  David Willson and his wife along with a number of their family members and descendants are buried at the north end of the property.  He was originally from New York State and migrated to Upper Canada in 1801, where he joined the Society of Friends or Quakers, of which his wife Phebe was a member.  When his ministry was rejected by the Quakers at the beginning of the War of 1812, he founded his own sect, the Children of Peace.  He died in 1866 and it was at that time the sect started to dwindle and by 1889 was virtually non existent.

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