I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with cemeteries. Especially, old, well established ones. I’ve watched one to many zombie movies to be OK with said cemeteries at night but in the day time they inspire peace and a sense of how finite and therefore valuable our time on earth is. They also make me a bit sad (not in a bad way but like you do when you knowingly watch a sad movie…more like catharsis.)
In my post op state, I am building up my tolerance in an effort to get back up to speed for when I go back to work in 2 weeks. So I’m getting out and walking. But, walking for the sake of walking is tremendously boring to me so I’m getting out with a goal. Todays goal was to see a couple of sites in my town that I’ve only just heard of. They are not tremendously well advertised and being on the other end of the city from me I was oblivious to their existence. Lord, knows how these small venues survive on donations and word of mouth! One of these venues was a small house museum which I will save for another day. The other was up the street from the house museum.Historic St James Church and Cemetery. I will quote the pamphlet they hand out while I toss in some interesting photos.
“The Parish of St. James was founded on June 17, 1851 on a provisional land grand from the Hudson Bay Company. It was to serve settlers, military pensioners and retired Hudson Bay personnel.”“The site of the church is an old Indian burial ground. (More reason to stay out of it at night…_ It was chosen because there was a ford nearby. The ground also appealed to the bishop as a place of refuge in the time of flood. Indian lore indicated that the ridge chosen as the site had at no time been covered with water. It was on this spot that the settlers camped to escape the great flood of 1852.”“The first timbers for the church were washed away from the site during this flood but the rectory stayed put and was a refuge for many.”“The oak timbers that you see in the church today were rafted down the river, hewn by hand, and fitted into place by volunteers from the parish. The church was completed in 1853.”
“The first baptism was January 9, 1853.”
“The first wedding was solemnized August 11, 1855.”
“The first burial was on December 10, 1856.”
The parents of the previous photo didn’t have as much money but likely felt as much pain as these more wealthy folks in the next photo.
And I just noticed that these two babes died 11 days apart. Likely an illness got them. Sad.
I feel their grief. And the sad thing is they loved their loved ones enough to have funerals and put up elaborate stones or to scrape together enough for a simple stone and 100 years later no one remembers them or looks after their stones that were so lovingly placed. And these were the best of the old ones. There were many others that were in pieces on the ground and some, the stone was gone all together…just the base it used to stand on. Likely the work of vandeles and thieves looking for a good Halloween decoration. Sad….