Just a Field of Stones Now? “The Old Perth Burying Ground” Now on Ontario Abandoned Places?

Just a Field of Stones Now? “The Old Perth Burying Ground” Now on Ontario Abandoned Places?

Ole Burying Ground pile of  stone.jpg

Photo-Cheryl Moss


Re: The Old Burying Ground — Perth

Dear Linda,

I read with great interest your article on the Ole Burying Ground in
Perth today. It’s a site near and dear to my heart.

I’ve been trying for a couple of years to have the town clean it up as
they own it and it’s a designated Heritage property here. I live a block from it and see the pickets being bent and go missing every week in this cemetery.  I started the attached letter last winter and your post has inspired me to finally send it.

Thank you very very very much Linda!   I needed the encouragement!




Ole Burying Ground lean  to (1).jpg

Ole Burying Ground fence.jpg

Ole Burying Ground life  struggle (1).jpg


Photos-Cheryl Moss


 Ole Burying Ground another  broken stone.jpg
This is the Cemetery where the stone of Robert Lyon is located. For those of you who don’t know, Robert Lyon was a law student that was killed during a duel for the hand of Elizabeth Hughes by John Wilson.
This location is imperative to our local history as the majority of the stones are from the early 1800’s, with a few being buried in the early 1900’s. As far as I can tell there is no one buried in this cemetery after roughly 1910. It is now listed on Ontario Abandoned Places. While this is a private user website, it is heartbreaking that this location of history is even considered abandoned.

While this property is not really abandoned the question of abandonment can be inferred from the acts or recitals of the parties, interpreted in the light of all the surrounding circumstances.  Such abandonment is a question of fact or a mixed question of law and fact.

A cemetery is not abandoned as long as it is kept and preserved as a resting place for the dead with anything to indicate the existence of graves, or as long as it is known and recognized by the public as a graveyard. The fact that for some years no new interments have been made and that the graves have been neglected does not operate as an abandonment and authorize the desecration of the graves, where the bodies interred in a cemetery remain therein and the spot awakens sacred memories in living persons.

“I think this illustrates why this cemetery is so important. Vital records of Births, Marriages and Deaths were only required to be kept starting in 1869 and compliance for the first decade or so was rather hit-and-miss. Many early church records are either missing or only available at archives in distant cities so monuments can sometimes be the only evidence for the births and deaths of our ancestors. Occasionally they provide genealogical gems such as the year of emigration or the exact birth locations back in the homeland that can provide that tidbit of information that smash brick walls in our research and allows us to “hop the pond” and trace the ancestral lines further in the old country. Another concern is that the monuments in this cemetery are at risk as many are weathering to the point of illegibility or victims of vandalism”.–Bruce Gordon

So the “Ole Burying ground’ is not abandoned but it is neglected and desperately needs to be rescued. Someone please help and thank you Cheryl for your love and concern!


The “Old burying ground” located in Perth Ontario–Bill Daykin
GPS location: N44 53′ 56.3″  W076 14′ 26.6″

Background and history

This cemetery was used for the first hundred years and more, after the Perth military settlement was established and is the final resting place of Robert Lyon who fell in a duel with John Wilson in 1833.

Without question this site is of local and county significance. Many eminent people are buried here from representatives from Lanark and other counties who sat in the Legislative assembly for upper Canada to the settlers who helped build and shape Perth and the surrounding country. It’s interest lies in other directions too; as the first burial site the grounds were divided for use by three different denominations, and perhaps what brings so many tourists to Perth that the last fatal duel in Upper Canada was fought here, and Robert Lyon is buried in the Cemetery. This gives the cemetery provinvial significance and to some degree will influence the program for conservation and maintenance.

Happy Birthday Perth (Craig St./Pioneer Cemetery)

The beautiful village of Perth situated on the Tay River in Lanark County Ontario is celebrating the 200th anniversary this year of the founding of the Rideau Military Settlement.

My mother-in-law, Annie, grew up in Perth and her parents are both descended from Irish emigrants who were escaping poverty, famine and oppression back in the homeland. A few years ago out of a frustration in the paucity of early records in Ontario I visited St. Bridget’s Catholic Cemetery in the historic North Burgess Township, now part of the present-day Tay Valley Township to find and photograph monuments of these pioneer families. Each visit led to discovering new connections which, in turn, required more visits to photograph other monuments. Eventually I photographed all the monuments. Read the rest here…CLICK




Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.




The Old Burying Ground — Perth

Alternate Ending to The Last Duel?

Would You Duel Anything For Love?

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.

4 responses »

  1. I’m just a concerned citizen with respect for our past. We thank you! Linda for aiding in bringing this public. We shall see what steps are taken pretty soon. I’ll keep you updated. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Disrespectful of the soldiers buried there including Pte John Murphy 99th Regiment of Foot, b 1784 Monaghan, Parish of Muckney, Ireland, died Feb 25, 1849 Lot 28 Con 4.


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