Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bethesda Methodist Cemetery, Innisfil

Bethesda Methodist Cemetery is located on the west side of 5th Side Road, 200 m south of the 4th Line in the Town of Innisfil.  The land was donated by Thomas Black a native of County Tyron, Ireland in 1867 for a Wesleyan Methodist Church and Cemetery.  The land was already established as a cemetery, as the first burials took place in 1852 for Thomas' wife Mary Ann and their 9 year old daughter Margaret.  Thomas himself would be buried here in 1879 at the age of 80.

A frame structure was built and opened in 1868.  Prior to this early settler families in the Bethesda area met for worship at the homes of William Lennox, Thomas Black, George Wonch and William Ross.  Later as the congregation grew they moved to the log school house on the farm of James Hindle.  Accordingly the congregation became known as Hindles.  

The frame church was later replaced with a brick one in 1895.  By 1925 the congregation had become part of the United Church of Canada.  The church was closed in 1950 and the last burial took place in 1957. The church building and drive sheds were demolished in 1958 leaving the cemetery.

A cemetery board continued to care for the cemetery for some time, until the responsibility was assumed by the Township of Innisfil, now the Town of Innsifil. 

According to a Mr. Jim Rainey a former member of the cemetery board and who had many descendants and family members buried in Bestheda. There are a number of unmarked burials, it was believed that they were for the Yanks family and possibly the Marling family.  

Another family, the Moyer or Moir were also buried there.  The family moved to the Alliston area and relocated the family tombstone.  It is also believed that the remains were relocated as well.

Today the cemetery is in the care of the Town of Innisfil, there is no cairn or sign to mark the spot, it just sits in a clearing on the west side of the road.

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