The Ghost Town of Rokeby– Lanark

The Ghost Town of Rokeby– Lanark


Photo-Ghost towns in Canada

Rokeby was a postal hamlet and farm settlement, located in Lanark County about 10 kilometres east of Maberley. It was always a small place with a population that hovered between 20 and 30 folks.

At its height, Rokeby contained a general store, post office and a blacksmith, along with a small Anglican church and cemetery. A school was located one concession north and the post office only remained open for a few short years.


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Today Rokeby continues to support a small population and a number of original structures still stand. These include the store, and a number of outbuildings. Although the church was demolished many years ago, the church grounds continue to be maintained. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the Anglican cemetery which was classified as “abandoned” many years ago. Files from: Ontario Ghost Towns


Rose Parsons– Thanks for this posting ! Now people will know that the place actually exists.. I lived there for over 25 years and this picture is of my Uncles barn on lot 2 The house at the corner was at one time the Anglican Manse and across the road was the Rokeby town Hall in the little field and it is now the barn on the former Greer farm on Greer road. Many memories of this little hamlet and still have family living there!!





Hi Linda – Mary Stewart from Perth here. My husbands ancestry research goes back to Rokeby – his great grandfather was a Boles. I am forwarding info that you may or may not know about the village of Rokeby.

Fagan Lake Cemetery

Location: Lot 19, Concession 9, South Sherbrooke

Details: The cemetery was created around 1863 by the St. John in the Wilderness Anglican Church. The village of Rokeby existed at that time in the same location. A church was built on the site, but was taken down in the early 1900’s. The last burial in this site was in 1945. Most of the people buried here were from the 11 th line of Bathurst with the rest being from the vicinity of Rokeby village. There were 2 Belgian construction workers killed in a railway accident who were also buried here. The cemetery was abandoned to the Township of South Sherbrooke before the amalgamation into Tay Valley Township. Other cemeteries

Tay Valley Townships


Perth Courier, Sept. 21, 1888

Mr. George Livingston of Rokeby died last week; funeral Friday at 10:00 was held in the English Church, Rev. Mr. Scantelbury preaching a very able discourse.  His remains were laid by the side of his son in the churchyard.  He had been a resident of that place for over 30 years and his age was 72 years.  The funeral was largely attended.

Perth Courier, November 1, 1895

Rokeby:  Dancing parties are all the rage.  A very enjoyable evening was spent at the residence of the well known and highly respected Patrick Corley the dance being in honor of Miss Johanna Corley that young lady having been much missed in social circles during her year long absence.

Rokeby:  A reminiscence of old times was the stumping bee called by William Greer and a good day’s work was done on Wednesday.

Perth Courier, Nov. 15, 1895

Rokeby—We are sorry to report the illness of Isaac Duffy, with inflammation of the eye, the inflammation extending to the optic nerve making a very serious case.  Mrs. Joseph Milliken is progressing favorable.  Both patients are under the care of our smart young doctor Alexander Robinson, M.D., a graduate of Queen’s College, Kingston.  Last reports of Isaac Duffy’s case were very serious.  Monday night he was very low with inflammation extending to the cerebral nerves.

Perth Courier, January 6, 1899

The saddest news we have to record this week is the death of our old townsman Judge William Doran of North Burgess which occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at his residence in that town.  His age was about 63(?) years.  Judge Doran was born in the town of Perth and was the son of John Doran, native of County Wexford, Ireland.  The family was a large one and the boys unusually strong, hearty and vigorous and it is sad and also strange to realize that not one of the list of stalwart youths and then grown up men who were so well known in town and country 20 to 50 years ago are alive today.  Of these men two of them, John and William, rose to prominence as public men; both were Liberal candidates at parliamentary elections and both became judges of the Nipissing District by appointment of the Ontario government.  The Doran family were cousins of Messrs. William, Alexander, and Patrick McGarry of Drummond and the late Rev. Father Stafford of Lindsay, Tobias of Renfrew, Thomas of Lanark Township, Henry of Almonte and John of Perth (the last two deceased).  Judge William Doran married Miss McRae of Wolfe Island and leaves behind him his widow and a family of sons and daughters.  He also leaves one sister Maggie who is a nun in Hotel Dieu, Kingston.  Deceased owned a saw mill in Rokeby S. Sherbrooke for some years and gave up that business to accept the judgeship of Nipissing District, a position which he filled with efficiency.  About 1878 he was chosen the Liberal candidate for S. Lanark for the Ontario legislature and made the best fight any Liberal ever made in this Conservative hive going to within 169 of victory.  His opponent was the late Abraham Code.  Judge Doran was a genial, whole hearted man.  He was a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Parish of Maberly-Lanark presently consists of four churches and formerly included two others. The mission of Lanark dates back to 1819 and St. Paul’s, Lanark was built in 1842. Land was obtained in 1831 and St. John’s, Balderson’s Corners was erected soon after. Services were being held in Bathurst (later Brooke) by 1849 and the wooden church of St. Stephen’s opened in 1867. The congregation at Maberly dates to 1883 and St. Alban’s, Maberly was opened in 1886. St. Peter’s, Fallbrook was built around 1856, was deconsecrated in 1969, and the closing services were held on June 28, 1970. Land was donated in 1863 for a church and graveyard at Rokeby with St. John the Baptist in the Wilderness, Rokeby consecrated in 1864. The church building was gone by 1925 and the cemetery has been inactive since 1949

St. John The Baptist Anglican Cemetery

Lot 19, Con 9, South Sherbrooke Twp., near Fagan Lake, Rokeby, Ont.

Burials 1881 to 1945

Robert Ancil Boles, died Sept. 6, 1902, aged 6 years, 5 months and 6 days.

(son of Thomas and Mary (Donnelly) Boles, who fell out of a tree on a picket fence and died of injuries a few days later)

Kathleen Brookes, wife of Wm. R. Greer, born in Widness, England, died June 22, 1926, aged 56 years.  Her mother, Mary E. Brookes – White, died Mar. 23, 1911, aged 75 years.

(Kathleen is buried outside the cemetery with a fence around it.)

Child’s Stone – Illegible.

In Memory of James Erwin, died May 29, 1901, aged 78 years. 

Isabella Foster, died Dec. 29, 1910, aged 82 years.

In Memory of, Mary E. Erwin, died Dec. 30, 1914, aged 51 years, wife of James Geary (died Apr. 4, 1945, aged 86 years – not on stone)

In Memory of, Robert Hughes, died July 22, 1910, aged 85 years.

In Memory of, Robert Hughes, died Nov. 7, 1881, aged 20 years.

Also Mary Hughes, died May 19, 1902, aged 45 years, wife of William Milliken.

Also Letita Hughes, died June 20, 1902, aged 35 years.

In Memory of, George Livingston, died March 18, 1887, aged 26 years.

Also, George Livingston, died Sept. 5, 1888, aged 72 years.

In Memory of Charles McMullen, died Feb. 1, 1892, aged 19 years.

Also Thomas McMullen, died May 29, 1898, aged 19 years.

Also Mary Ann Cole, did Sept. 3, 1909, aged 75 years, wife of William McMullen.

In Memory of James B. McMurray, died Oct. 25, 1892, aged 29 years.

In Memory Of Margaret Moore, died Sept. 24, 1887, aged 8 years.

Also, David H. Moore, died Oct. 10, 1877, aged 6 years.

Children of Thomas and Margaret Moore.

Interments – No Markers

1 – Infant child, died March 14, 1907 – daughter of Mr. & Mrs. George Dowdell.

2 – Margaret Livingstone, died Jan. 18, 1900, aged 84 years.

3 – Mrs. Margaret Allan, died Jan. 20, 1886, aged 67 years.

4 – Albert Boles, Thomas Boles and Mary Boles.  There are very likely more Boles family members buried here. There are two small ground level markers on the west side of the Church site which are Boles.  Robert and Johanna Boles, the parents of Tom and Mary Boles are likely buried here.

5 – Fanny Geary, died Dec. 13, 1894, aged 81 years.  Mary Ann Geary, died Jan. 1, 1915 (Mrs. James Geary).  Ruth Geary, died Dec. 13, 1899, aged 72 years.

6 – Martha Foster, died Jan. 15, 1904, aged 73 years.

7 – Isabel Erwin, died Dec. 31, 1910, aged 81 years, 9 months, (Mrs. James Erwin).

Anglican Archives in Kingston, Ontario.

1 – Elizabeth Robinson, died Jan. 5, 1885, aged 35 years.

2 – Thomas James Robinson, died June 29, 1893, aged 8 years.

3 – William Henry Robinson, died Nov. 12, 1894.

4 – Jane Robinson, died March 19, 1897 (old age)

Pictures by Keith Thompson, 27 October, 2001 CLICK here

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ 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.relatedreading

The Ghost Towns of Eastern Ontario

Halls Mills Ghost Town- Another W. H. Wylie Connection

The Gillies Home in the Ghost Town of Herron’s Mills

The Ghost Ship of Brown’s Hill

The Ghost of the Lanark County Old Log Cabin

Paranormal Hauntings of the Rideau Canal and other Unsolved Ghost Stories

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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