Port Hope Pioneer Presbyterian Cemetery

From an article, by the late James Cutting, in the 31 May 1978 issue of the Port Hope Evening Guide:

Photo from the early 1980s (courtesy of Alan Richards) "Nestled against a hillside along the south side of Bruton Street, two or three houses esat of Julia Street, lies an acre or so of land overgrown with bushes and shaded by quiet trees. You have to hop over an old iron farm gate to get a closer look at this property. This serene spot used to be a graveyard. It still is, but you would hardly know it. Vandals have toppled most of the stones which date back to the 1820s up to the 1870s and a number are broken into pieces.

"Immediately to the southern rear of this forgotten graveyard is a converted apartment building, facing along Baldwin Street, which was once one of the original Presbyterian churches built in Port Hope in 1831. The three tower-like spires that used to jut from the front of it are now gone, but there is still a semblance of the original church in the building that remains there.

"Just exactly when this graveyard first came into existence isn't known, but it, at one time, was the last resting place of the most distinguished pioneer families of the town. While several of the finely- inscribed grave stones still remain at the site, overturned though they may be, some have been smashed and the tops of others have been removed from the graveyard and are probably patio stones in some neighbour's back yard.

"The church records of who actually is buried in this cemetery have also been lost in the past, and only the larger grave markers provide a few clues as to the pioneer families that buried their loved ones in this site. Apparently most of these families have since disappeared from the community and there is no one left to care for the long-abandoned plots. According to the Ontario Cemeteries Act, the municipality is responsible for maintaining abandoned cemeteries., and occasionally once a year, a town works crew enters this sacred ground to clean up any trash and set up the fallen grave stones.

"An ornate iron fence which once surrounded this cemetery has also been pulled apart and is noew used as a cover for a children's hideaway in a hole at the north end of the graveyard. If something isn't done soon to retrieve what stones still survive, this valuable historic segment of our past pioneers wil be gone forever."

The following excerpts are taken from a booklet prepared by dedicated members of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church who were instrumental in initiating the restoration of this lovely cemetery in 1980.

Presbyterian Pioneer Cemetery "On Bruton Street, in a quiet residential area of Port Hope a short distance north of Walton Street and two blocks west of Pine Street, there is a Pioneer Cemetery. It is on a sandy hillside, where the terrain commences its western descent into the Ganaraska River Valley. About sixty early pioneers of the area are known to be buried in this tranquil shaded site.

"The first church, a small frame structure, was completed in 1831 and was located to the south of the cemetery. It stood in a pathless wood separated from Walton Street by a deep gully which necessitated a long detour to the west for the worshippers to reach the church. After a time a bridge was built across the ravine which was later filled in and is now Church Street.

"From the following list of those buried in the cemetery, it is indicated that the first burial took place in 1829 and the last in 1873 about the same time the Union Cemetery on Toronto Road was established."

The following are those known or alleged to have been buried in the cemetery:

November 1859-28 June 1860 (7 months)
D/o William & M.


BARRIE, Hannah Catherine (nee Clark)
1833-14 October 1861 (28 years)
Married Alexander Barrie Mar 1861

BRAND, Daniel
1792-17 March 1872 (80 years)
Born Suffolk, Eng.; migrated to Canada 1819 and settled on a farm 2 miles west of Port Hope, purchased from Jonathan Sexton; married Elizabeth Marsh Sexton (r/o Jonathan) and had 3 sons, 8 daughters

BRAND, Elizabeth (Sexton)
1801-09 May 1870 (69 years)
W/o Daniel

BRAND, Aletta Ann
04 October 1839-03 October 1868 (29 years)
D/o Daniel & Elizabeth. Not married.

BRAND, William
26 May 1820-1849 (29 years)
S/o Daniel & Elizabeth. Not married.

1823-27 December 1847
Native of Scotland; funeral held 05 Jan 1848 and attended by Odd Fellows; stores closed at the hour of the funeral as a mark of respect.

CAMERON, Margaret McAlpine
1802-18 May 1855 (53 years)
D/o James & ...

CASSIE, Reverend John
1807-19 June 1861 (54 years)
Also infant d/o Reverend John & Pamela, died 08 August 1842 (10 days)

1854-14 March 1855 (8 months)
D/o Enoch & Eliza Ann

04 June 1811-29 July 1854 (43 years)
Born Co. Armagh, Ireland

CRAIG, Henry J.
07 February 1854-18 August 1854 (6 months, 11 days)
S/o William & Hannah

September 1866-30 March 1868 (18 months)

CURRY, Mary Ann

DODDS, Nichol
Died May 1873; funeral 02 May 1873

DODDS, Peter
1830-22 March 1865 (35 years)

DODDS, William
1828-11 January 1863 (35 years)
S/o Nichol & Jacobenia

Died 1867
W/o Donald

GIBBS, Eliza
1803-22 March 1859 (56 years)
W/o John

GIBBS, George
Died 08 August 1859

GRANT, Maryett
1829-1839 ( 10 years)

HALLIDAY, Elizabeth
Died 26 July 1845
W/o John

HENRY, Samuel
1812-08 March 1871 (59 years)

1784-27 March 1858 (74 years)

1840-30 December 1861 (21 years)

KNIGHT, Sarah (nee Sleeman)
1823-06 July 1870 (47 years)
W/o C. Knight

Died 1857
H/o Clarissa Brand (d/o Daniel & Elizabeth); came from Montreal as a lumber buyer and was in Peterborough in 1849; later owned the American Hotel.

1780-11 November 1851 (71 years)
One of 186 elders in the Presbyterian Church ordained in 1827 by Rev. Jenkin

1834-01 May 1859 (25 years)
D/o James

MATHER, Margaret
1843-20 February 1859 (16 years)
D/o John & Jane

MAYBEE, Elizabeth
1794-07 May 1839 (45 years)
W/o Benjamin

McELROY, Samuel
1805-15 August 1840 (35 years)
Br/o Sarah Vint

McNEILLIE, Janet (nee Richardson)
1794-23 March 1863 (69 years)
W/o Thomas McNeillie

McSPADDEN, John (M.D.)
1794-12 March 1843 (49 years)

McSPADDEN, Mary Jane
1813-28 September 1872 (59 years)
R/o Dr. John

1824-09 May 1838 (14 years)
Eldest s/o Dr. John & Mary Ann; died as a result of a very sad accident. He had left his home on Walton Street to retrieve something from the Presbyterian Church on Baldwin Street. A friend happened to pass the rear of the church, saw a ladder to one of the windows and the form at the top was that of James hanging from the window which had fallen upon him as he attempted to enter.

McSPADDEN, Charles
1826-01 January 1871 (44 years, 2 months, 28 days)

1857-07 February 1858 (1 year)
D/o John A. & Sarah

ORR, John
1785-23 June 1866 (81 years)
Native of Ayrshire, Scotland

ORR, Jane
1795-15 October 1873 (78 years)
W/o John

ORR, Jean
August 1835-09 October 1842 (7 years, 2 months)
D/o John & Jane

ORR, Mary
June 1837-23 September 1842 (5 years, 3 months)
D/o John & Jane

QUAY, Thomas
October 1786-10 May 1849 (62 years, 7 months)
One of first elders ordained in 1827; stone erected in Union Cemetery; also stained glass window in St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Walton Street.

1826-07 March 1868 (42 years)
Br/o John

ROSS, Crawford
1827-25 May 1853 (26 years)
Native of Ross-shire, Scotland

1806-27 February 1841 (35 years)
W/o John

1797-17 September 1872 (75 years)
Native of Greenock, Scotland; 50 years in the province; published the newspaper Watchman in Port Hope from 1850-1855

1831-29 May 1851 (20 years)
Cousin/o Gratian & Grace

STEELE, Gratian
23 March 1852-06 April 1852 (15 days)
Twin/o Grace

23 March 1852-06 April 1853 (1 year, 15 days)
Twin/o Gratian

July 1836-28 April 1864 (27 years, 9 months)
W/o William

VINT, Esther J.
1846-05 January 1870 (23 years)
D/o James & Sarah

VINT, Mary E.
1845-10 October 1871 (26 years)
D/o James & Sarah

Died April 1866
Native of Ayrshire, Scotland

July 1827-03 October 1829 (2 years, 2 months)
S/o John & Jane

November 1829-05 September 1830 (9 months)
S/o John & Jane

WALLACE, Elizabeth
September 1833-26 January 1834 (4 months)
D/o John & Jane

July 1831-12 October 1837 (6 years, 3 months)
S/o John & Jane

November 1815-25 July 1817 (1 year, 8 months)
S/o John & Jane

March 1835-01 July 1855 (20 years, 3 months)

June 1841-29 August 1863 (22 years, 2 months)

1791-07 January 1866 (75 years)

WHITE, Dorcas
1789-10 June 1866 (77 years)

"The pioneers in this cemetery lived in challenging and changing times."

Barbara & Peter Bolton - Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
Copyright © 2014 PJBolton/St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Port Hope, Ontario