Tales of the Tombstones — The Crozier Children

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The story below is from the Fairview Cemetery on Davidson Street, Listowel, Ontario

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Jessie Keith died on October 19, 1894, 13 years old “while defending her honour” – She was born December 20, 1880, and was the daughter of William and Jane (McGeorge) Keith of Elma Twp. Jessie was brutally murdered at the edge of a woodlot near the railway tracks in Elma Twp., just east of Listowel on the way home from running an errand. Almede Chattel, a tramp from Ste. Hyacinthe Quebec was arrested a few days after the murder, convicted of the crime
and hanged in Stratford jail on May 31, 1895.

The monument to Jessie was unveiled in May 1896. The Goddess Flora (goddess of flowers) dropping a rose on the grave was sculpted out of Cerara marble in Italy and waserected on a Peterhead granite pedestal from Aberdeen Scotland on an Ohio free stone base, by R. T. Kemp of Listowel. The monument was restored in June 2006 by Stratford Memorials in Listowel.  Survived by parents; sister, Ida and brother, Alexander.  Her sister Ida died 2 years later February 26, 1898, 19 years old, “with a broken heart over the tragic loss of her sister”

A statue as beautiful as the crime was ugly

‘The story reflects so well on the townsfolk of the region, the way they kept their tempers and brought the killer to justice.’ CLICK

There is nothing more tragic than the death of a child. In researching St. James Cemetery in Carleton Place for our Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Cemetery walk October 28th. I have come across a few names I need to pay homage to. Like Cecil Cummings and Margaret Violet King– they need to be remembered.

And so I begin research on the Crozier children who all died in the same time frame within a 4 year period.

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I found it odd that a small ceramic dog bed was placed at each gravestone as they had died in the 1870s. Today I found out that a Jewish lady comes to visit their gravestones on a regular basis after finding them one day. Planting flowers or leaving anything but a stone is not a Jewish tradition. It is also tradition that visiting the graves of others who are buried there is not done. Not visiting other graves is out of respect to the person who is being buried, as well as to the person previously interred.

So why does she do it? She also scatters graham cracker crumbs around the grave and gets annoyed when birds begin to eat them.Today I found out why she does that. When the cemetery would close for the evening, some mourners would come and sprinkle crumbs on their loved ones plot as some sort of tradition so that animals would keep them company during the night.

Stay tuned for more. Remember our Haunted Heritage Event at the Museum is October 15th and the Cemetery Walk is Oct 28th

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Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
25 Oct 1894, Thu  •  Page 1

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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