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One of the more distinctive sights along Highway 2 which runs along the St. Lawrence River, east of Maitland, Ontario, is The Blue Church. It is one of the smallest churches in Canada and is a historic site.

The church was intended to be established in 1790, after an agreement between the citizens or Elizabethtown and Augusta Townships to raise subscriptions for that purpose at a new town to be called New Oswegatchie. Unfortunately, they were unable to collect the necessary subscriptions and the church remained unbuilt. The burying ground itself was established but it was not until 1809 when the Anglicans of the two townships built a frame chapel which they called “The Blue Church”. This church was deconsecrated in 1826 when a church was built in Maitland. The original building was partially burned and then pulled down in 1840. The present building was built in 1845.

Barbara Heck, the founder the death of Barbara Heck the founder of Methodism in Upper Canada (Ontario — “Upper” referring to upstream on the St. Lawrence) was buried in the cemetery in 1804.

There is also a memorial for Sir Alexander Mackenzie and other members of the Mackenzie family.

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Cemetery, Cardinal, Ontario

During the building of the St. Lawrence Seaway, many small communities lay directly in the path of the floodwaters. Some were moved in their entireties, some residents were given new homes in new communities and the towns and settlements still lie at the bottom of the Seaway.

Cardinal was one of the towns partially inundated. The upper part of the town sits close to the new shoreline and rises up towards the now disused canal, itself, rendered redundant with the Seaway. The gravestones moved from the flooded section of the town sit in a green-space between the town and the canal. They have been clustered together on a cement pad.. Some of the stones date to the early 1800s.

44.79036, -75.37817

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McGuigan Pioneer/Loyalist cemetery is probably the oldest cemetery in Eastern Ontario, active probably from 1800 and 1900.  Rediscovered in the early 1960s, it was completely over grown by trees and brush. It wasn’t until 1976 that the local historical society was in a position to be able to undertake a restoration of the site. The graves include pioneers of the area, as well as Loyalists who relocated from the United States after the American Revolution.

There are also graves marked only with rough stones — unknown labourers, many from Ireland, who died working on the building of the Rideau Canal, between 1826 and 1832. All these stones mark those who died in the section close to Nicholson’s Locks.

The sad irony is that men who worked and died creating one of Canada’s great building projects lie unknown under unmarked stones.

44.94407 – 75.81890

Bell Crossing – Bell – Whitehurst Cemetery. Just along Rockspring Road from Bolton Cemetery, this cemetery is disused and many of the stones are in bad t0 terrible shape. Many are broken and sunken into the ground and, therefore, unreadable. There are several references to a cemetery which may well be this one but it is listed under several names.  Someone appears to be caring for it — mowing, etc. The earliest readable date of death was 1847. Some are likely earlier. The earliest date of birth is 1784.

There’s a former church on the property adjacent to the cemetery. It is now a private home.

44.752596  -75.830426

Bolton Cemetery

I might as well get some of the backlog of sites up. I have been remiss. Since I have the week off, I can take care of old business.

This is a pleasant cemetery with approximately 25 or so headstones. Very pretty just before sunset. I photographed and catalogued it last summer, I think.

It is located on Rocksprings Road, just at the bend (44.7656808 -75.7874894). There’s another, smaller and very damaged cemetery up the road from it, beside a small church that has been turned into a private home, as many of the old churches in the area have been. Unlike the latter, I don’t think that the Bolton cemetery has been altogether abandoned or more properly, disused. There were several newer headstones.

Cemetery Angels

Found the same day as the Pepper Family plot, Weir’s Cemetery was a bit too big for me photograph and catalogue. But there were some lovely little angel statues of which I took a lot of photos.

Pepper Family Plot

We found another little cemetery on Sunday! The Pepper Family plot is located on Redan Road, Elizabethtown/KitelyTownship, in the 12000 to 12020 block (44°41’7.05″N  75°53’26.20″W). It isn’t the smallest I’ve found but close. There are 5 headstones with the names of 7 individuals from the Pepper family (and a Lucas).

Andrew Pepper born 1847 died 1920
Evelena Pepper born 1871 died 1896
Jane Pepper born 1837 died 1921
John Pepper died Jan. 27, 1890 aged 95 years, 7 mos. 25 days
Nancy, wife of John Pepper died Mar. 3, 18(93) aged 77 years, 11 mos. And 15 days
Lucy Annie Pepper wife of John Wm. Lucas July 11, 1868 – Jan. 26, 1954 Daughter of Andrew Pepper and his wife Martha Hanna
John Lucas 1862-1948 (“Mourn not the dead, but mourn the cowed and the meek who see the World’s wrong but do not speak. Workers of the World Unite”)

Pepper family 1851 Elizabethtown Township census, 1901 census, and other Canadian records.