So Who was Buried First in the Franktown Cemetery?

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Franktown cemetery 2015– photo by Linda Seccaspina

 

If you read the story of when I travelled back in time to find who belonged to a headstone left at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum,  you know how much I  love a mystery. Leona Kidd ( got to meet her yesterday!) wrote the strange story, and it is included in the new Beckwith Then and Now book.

Word was when they realized they needed somewhere to bury local citizens, they had a lot of bush to clear to create a new cemetery in Franktown. Franktown in the early days was noted in the Province of Ontario Gazetter and Directory as a village on Goodwood Creek in the Township of Beckwith, County Lanark 15 miles away from Perth. Lands in the vicinity averaged $12 an acre, and the population was 200. The Brockville and Ottawa Railway also had a station near the village.

If you were part of “the better off”  burial within the church itself was preferred, but in the case of Franktown the ground was too hard, so they found a location not far from the church.  In those days one’s social status depended on the section of the ground where you were buried– preferable east. In such a location, the dead would be assured the best view of the rising sun on the Day of Judgment.

People of lesser distinction were buried on the south side, while the north corner of the graveyard was considered the Devil’s domain. It was reserved for stillborns, bastards and strangers unfortunate enough to die while passing through  town. If you read my series on cemeteries last October, we had many an issue similar at St. James Cemetery in Carleton Place.

Suicides, were usually deposited in the north end, although their corpses were not allowed to pass through the cemetery gates to enter. They had to be passed over the top of the stone wall or fence.

Local Franktown man John Ferguson was in charge of the whole affair, and one day he stood there and admired all his work on the cemetery and wondered who would be the first person buried there. So my question to you is– who ended up being the first to be buried in the Franktown Cemetery?

He was!

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Well, you will have to buy the Beckwith Then and Now book to find out. I know–that’s not nice but— I am very easy to find if you need to complain that I taunted you..:)

 

Related reading

A Monument Back in Time –Time Travelling in Lanark County —Part 1

Like a Prayer I left My Mark in Franktown — Part 2

How Franktown Got Its Name

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

2 responses »

  1. My ancestors – Phineas Lowe to start, are buried there. Just a little ways in from the gate, and to the right of the big tree. Don’t believe he was the first, but he was one of the original petitioners for the church.

    Like

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