Tag Archives: graveyards

Have You Ever Paid Tribute to our Pioneers? Middleville Pioneer Cemetery

Have You Ever Paid Tribute to our Pioneers? Middleville Pioneer Cemetery



Photo Linda Seccaspina 2015


Compared to some of our older cemeteries that are literally decaying before our eyes the Middleville pioneers can  rest in peace. Have you ever driven to Middleville and seen the 25 original headstones inlaid into a flowered bordered tribute adjacent to Trinity United Church? While not part of *Lanark’s 7 Wonders just looking at them you can practically hear their 19th century stories. The headstones cover a 26 year old period from 1851 and located over the original grave site.

One marker of note covers three graves. They are the Affleck children: Agnes age 7 and her sisters Jane and Elizabeth 4 and 1 who all died in August and September of 1856 from either diptheria or scarlet fever that swept Lanark County that ye



In Memory of John, son of Archibald & E. McInnes, died Nov 21, 1857, aged 1 year & 6 months. Middleville Pioneer Cemetery Middleville, Ontario. Burials 1955 – 1900 CLICK HERE


Like the St. James Anglican church cemetery in Carleton Place that removed their hand water pump  Middleville too worried about seepage of contaminated graves from the old graveyard into the town’s well water. Middleville decided to move their cemetery to the Greenwood Cemetery in the 1870s.

Several of the plots were dug up and the remains transferred to the new site. Over the years the old site fell upon hard times and in the 1930s they tried to clean it up but they stopped fearful of damage to the crumbling markers that were now buried under the overgrown grass.

In the 1960s Mrs. Jesse Stewart Gillies funded the reconstruction from a request from her husband David Gilles that the founder’s Headstone James Gillies be restored. His headstone dating back to 1851 was the oldest in the cemetery. James had come from Scotland in 1821 at the age of 55 with his wife and children. He established a sawmill near the village shortly after it was founded in 1820 as part of the Upper Canada district of Bathurst.

Borrowing the idea of the monument idea from Upper Canada Village the work was completed in 1971 and an official ceremony dedicated by former mayor the late Charlotte Whitton was in 1972. If you have never visited this Lanark location you are missing part of Lanark’s great history.



Photo Linda Seccaspina 2015




*The Seven Wonders of Lanark County

IN 2016 this happened

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Middleville Pioneer Cemetery Middleville, Ontario. Burials 1955 – 1900 CLICK HERE


JUNE 5– Middleville Museum CLICK HERE

Family History Day – Canada 150

Lanark Township (Highlands) descendants of our early settlers (and those who wish they were😉), join us on Sunday June 25 at the Museum for our Canada 150 descendants group photo. Stephen Dodds will be there with his drone to get several group photos at 1:30. David Murdoch will speak about his 1867 ancestry quest at 11:30 and 2:15. We will have copies of David’s research for those who are interested. This will be a great chance to catch up with friends and neighbours. Refreshments will be served. We hope to see many of you there.

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.

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







It’s the Middleville News

Hissing Steam, Parades and a 1930 Hearse–Pioneer Days Middleville

When History Comes to You–A Visit from Middleville

EARLY SETTLEMENT OF DALHOUSIE-Tina Penman, Middleville, Ont.

Visiting the Neighbours — Middleville Ontario and Down the 511

When History Comes to You–A Visit from Middleville

Where is it Now? The Heirloom of William Camelon




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

The Old Burying Ground — Perth

The Clayton Methodist Cemetery

St. Mary’s “Old” Cemetery

In Memory of the Very Few–Adamsville Burial Site

The Oldest Cemetery in Drummond

So Who was Buried First in the Franktown Cemetery?

Kings Warks and Cemeteries–Interesting Discoveries of Lanark County

The Ghost Lights in St. James Cemetery

The Forgotten Cemetery at the End of Lake Ave West

Stairway to Heaven in a Cemetery? Our Haunted Heritage

Before and After — Auld Kirk


The Forgotten Graves of Lanark County


Almonte Gazette 1884—read the Almonte Gazette here

Mr. Benard Malloy, of Grattan, informed the editor of the Eganville Enterprise that a few days ago, while prospecting for mineral specimens near Lake Clear he came across a grave, and the head of it stood a large beech tree, with a name carved in the tree.

Being written in French he could not make it out– but the date, 1840 was still legible. Malloy opened the grave and found the coffin to be in as good as the shape as the day it was put in under the clay. It was made of cedar slabs wooden pins and inside the content was nothing but bones.


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Photo from Anvil Cloud –St. James Cemetery 2015– Unmarked grave

Inside St. James Cemetery in Carleton Place there is a grave on the side of the hill just after the entrance and “a little down the ways” as they say. No one knows who is buried there and the grave is unmarked. The caretaker says someone is definitely buried there but there are no records and no headstone.

Although caretakers maintain the modern cemeteries of today, this was once not the case. Many cemetery plots were not marked or the original wooden markers decayed and rotted away. Over time, even the cemetery itself may have become “lost.”

The Forgotten Cemetery at the End of Lake Ave West



Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Join Jennifer Fenwick Irwin and her band of merry women/men on October 27 at St. James Cemetery


Being Buried on Farmland



Joyce MacKenzie– Linda – I’m dropping this historical map off Carleton Place/Mississippi Lake off. My own ancestors settled in the area in 1832. I know that in the early days – the pioneer settlers were buried on their own lots.

So who is buried out there, and not in a cemetery? We have two small commemorated family burial sites in Carleton Place. The Willis family at Riverside Park on Lake Ave West, and the Morphy Cairn on Emily Street. So who else is out there? No idea, but if someone was buried anywhere and remains found, it would be reported and treated with dignity. So why did our ancestors bury their family on their farmland?

Traditionally, members of the family who owned a farm and the farm workers and their family members were also often buried on the farm. There were strong cultural and religious reasons why people wanted to be buried near their families and ancestors.  In those days families became increasingly identified with their farms, until cemeteries became more prevalent. Times have changed, however, and the practice of burying people in family graveyards on the farm has disappeared.

Early families were buried on private family residential land, or in small community or denominational cemeteries. By the 1850s, most of these small cemeteries had been pushed out of the more urban  areas and farm burials were rare even in the more rural surrounding townships. The pressure of urban growth led to the development of commercial cemeteries.

From my research, it was believed that the person’s status etc. in the life hereafter could be affected if the farmer and his family were not buried on farmland, and that they might even be punished by their ancestors. Such a person might also come back to haunt the living.


Kings Warks and Cemeteries–Interesting Discoveries of Lanark County

Most Obituary listings did not have a notation of the cause of death, but now the old obits offer a rare glimpse into the living conditions of a frontier environment that was fraught with perils and pitfalls.

Death by drowning, for example, was an occupational hazard for lumbermen. And sometimes the water killed you and there was a very real chance that you might be carried off by cholera.

As in one case I wrote about this year, family cemeteries have become a lonely spot where lay the remains of many of our ancestors, with a wooden slab. I know for a fact there are still some out there *now hidden away in time with foliage and age waiting to be discovered.

My choice is to have my ashes scattered on my property with my late dog Axel’s ashes similar to the farmers of days gone by. No headstone, no cemetery, just to become a memory with a tree planted on top of me- and no, I am not worried about my ancestors punishing me. As Tolkien said: Not all who wander are lost.


*Wayside Cemtery-GPS Location: N 45 02′ 11.7″ – W 076 09′ 37.0″
Located corner of Tennyson Road and Beckwith Conc. 7, across from Baptist church Wayside. Very unkempt and has long been abandoned. Many stones of Scottish settlers. The Tennyson road was a main route to Richmond and Carleton place from Perth. Wayside had at one time, a cheese factory, a school and two churches.

Lanark County – Cemeteries

The Forgotten Cemetery at the End of Lake Ave West

Kings Warks and Cemeteries–Interesting Discoveries of Lanark County

ROCKIN’ Cholera On the Trek to the New World — Part 4

Hit By Lightening— The Sad Tale of Henry Crampton

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

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

Marilyn Brown

As a child, on my way to Brewer Park and Bathing Island (in Old Ottawa South) my older brother by 6 years used to show me some old graveyards not to far – especially the one close to the playground. It was down an old, never used at this time path, and at the end of it, there was a small graveyard. ‘Scared the ‘Devil’ out of me (his intention) but haven’t checked it out all these years later. There were others within the city also. Guess it was allowed at the time.–

Lost Ottawa
July 16, 2016  · 

Beach-goers enjoy the waters at Brewer Park on a hot @Ottawa day in August of 1956.

Are you allowed to swim there anymore?

(City of Ottawa Archives CA039881)