Monday, November 25, 2019

What's Inside this Burial Vault. (Maple Cemetery)

This Gothic revival structure was built in 1882 from field stone harvested from the nearby fields that once surrounded the cemetery. But alas, they are no longer, replaced by condos, Walmart Stores and subdivisions. The "Vault" as it is more commonly known was built to temporarily house the dead, especially during the winter months when the ground was too frozen to dig the graves.

A receiving or holding vault should not be confused with a mausoleum, it was a temporary solution and came with a monthly storage fee which was in addition to the cost of the grave. Oh and just so you know if you died from any infectious deceases you could not be stored in the "vault". Things were different then. Even the undertakers got a bad wrap.

Today the "vault" is used for the storage of materials use in the care and maintenance of the cemetery. There are no rotting coffins or moldy crypts inside. That's right people, no dead bodies, so stop trying to break into it. Nothing to see here folks. It's just a monument to the past.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Leigh Corners Cemetery - East Oro

Leigh Corners is located in Oro-Medonte, more specifically, East Oro. The cemetery was established in 1840 when John Leigh donated a piece of his land for an Anglican Church and burial ground. The church would be eventually built down the road at Simpson's Corners, so John Leigh reserved the west side of the cemetery for his family plot.

A school was established on the site in 1853. To day it is still standing but is now a private home. For many years people would wonder how a school ended up in the middle of a cemetery. As the congregational cemetery is located on the south side of the school. The cemetery is closed and is a designated heritage site.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Inside a Dead House - King City Cemetery

The octagonal dead house is peculiar to Southern Ontario, essentially used as receiving or mortuary crypts to hold the dead during the cold winter months.  It is believed that only seven exist with a possible eighth somewhere in the Niagara Region. Today they are mainly used to store equipment not the dead. 

This video takes you inside one along with a bit of history with some of the artifacts still used by the cemetery care taker to this day.  

Friday, November 1, 2019

Thornton Union Cemetery - Thornton (Innisfil) ON.

Thornton Union Cemetery is the amalgamation of two congregations, one Methodist and the other  Anglican. Both churches are now long gone and the cemetery is now considered to be non-denominational. Early burials for the Methodist go back to the 1840's, the cemetery has over 700 visible monuments and is still an active cemetery to this day.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Rugby Congregational Cemetery - Oro Medonte

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 probably 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. 

Monday, August 5, 2019

Kidd Cemetery/Vault - Caledon ON

First of all, please forgive the spelling error at the beginning of the video. It's meant to be 'Hidden" not 'Hiden." Thanks!

I have been looking for this vault for years, ever since I first heard of it and was about to give up. Then suddenly completely by accident I found the exact location on a post in Find a Grave.

Well, I could not resist, so I went there as soon as I possibly could. It did not disappoint. The only problem is the history. There appears to be several stories surrounding the vault's origins, none of which I could substantiate. But this is what I know.

The Kidd Cemetery was established in 1882 when John Kidd had his daughter who died in 1854 at the age of twelve moved to the property from her original burial site. The stone burial vault was built in 1892 just before his wife Jane's death in 1893. John would die in 1895 at the age of 97 and he would be entombed  along with his wife and daughter in the vault. But there is speculation that there is a fourth entombment, that being of John's son, George. There is no indication at all at the site that this is a fact. A large monument is located at the back of the crypt, with the names of John and his wife Jane. There are also the remnants of a gravestone from 1854 on what is actually the roof of the crypt. The crypt is built into a hillside. This gravestone is believed to be that of his daughter, Ann who died in 1854.

The crypt has been vandalized a couple of times so a new door with an alarm has been installed. The neighbors in the area also keep a close watch on anyone seen around the vault. So keep that in mind if you intend on visiting.   

Friday, July 19, 2019

St. Paul's & St. John's of Coulson's Hill (Bradford)

St. Paul's Anglican & St. John's Presbyterian are both located in Coulson's Hill in Bradford West Gwillimbury. They share a cemetery which is located between the two now abandoned church buildings.  

St Paul's was probably founded in the early 1840's the current church was originally built in 1854, was reconstructed in 1889 and rebuild again in 1916.  The first recorded burial was in 1842 for Jane Sheldon.

The Presbyterian church was found around the same time the current building was established in 1889. Burials like the Anglican church began in the early 1840's but the first church was built in 1857.

Both church buildings are no longer in use. The Presbyterian church closed sometime in the 1990's and relocated to a new building on the 10 Sideroad. The Anglican church closed sometime in the mid 2000's and joined the Trinity Anglican Church in Bradford.

Both cemeteries are well kept and still receive burials.