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Council to seek help with obligation to take over financial burden of pioneer and abandoned cemeteries

Council has approved a motion by councillor Mike Harper to write to seek assistance to deal with increasing financial burdens of pioneer and abandoned cemeteries – with limited resources.

A letter from Mayor Steve Ferguson is to ask the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA), the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus to canvass other rural municipalities to identify challenges they collectively face in meeting obligations under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act and Ontario regulations 30/11.

The motion also seeks that options are proposed to the province and the minister responsible for cemeteries to consider, to provide municipalities financial or legislative relief in the assumption of, and the ongoing operational management of pioneer and abandoned cemeteries.

Sandra Latchford, chair of the County’s Cemetery Advisory Committee, in its annual report to council, noted a list of cemeteries in PEC compiled in the mid 1980s identified 79 cemeteries, but noted it may not be a complete list.

“Currently, PEC manages and operates 53 of those cemeteries; 45 abandoned/pioneer/closed (no longer open for sales or interment); seven are active (open for sales and interment) and one is open for interment but no sales.”

Latchford noted that of the 16 remaining cemeteries on the list, three have already inquired about the process for turning the cemetery over to the municipality.

In a deputation to council Tuesday night, she explained costs and issues municipalities face when taking over abandoned, closed or neglected cemeteries.

Initial and immediate costs and issues include clarifying ownership of the land; no or small care and maintenance funds, neglected and need of extensive repair immediately to be compliant; a
cemetery is closed or full so no revenue from sales and records of deeds and burials are incomplete or even nonexistent.

Initial costs, she noted would vary on the size and condition of the cemetery being turned over.
(Municipal staff time, legal work, contracted work). Ongoing costs and issues for the 45 abandoned/pioneer/closed cemeteries would include maintenance of grounds and signage –grass cutting, weed wiping, brushing, repair of sunken graves, fencing, tree removal and monument safety.

Of the seven, plus one active cemeteries (a source of revenue) costs and issues include compliance with regulations to remain licensed, record keeping, ensuring burials are in the right location and monuments are placed correctly, marketing and selling interment rights.

In January this year, the municipality was to prepare a report by year-end with a long-term strategy for managing the pioneer cemeteries.

The following is the list of cemeteries maintained by the County.

Active: Mountain View, Salem
Inactive: Broad Wallbridge Cemetery, Brooks Delong, Consecon Cemetery, Dempsey Cunningham Cemetery, Herrington (Harrington) Cemetery, Lawrence Cemetery, Moon Cemetery, Post Babcock Cemetery, Simonds Burying Ground, Way Cemetery.

Inactive: Ketchum Cemetery, Point Petre Lighthouse (Lost Sailors)

Active: Hicksite Cemetery, Quaker Cemetery, Universalist Cemetery

Inactive: Bowerman (Cronk) Cemetery, Holiness Movement Cemetery, Pettit Cemetery, Stinson Cemetery, White Chapel United Cemetery

Active: Bowerman McFaul Cemetery
Inactive: Burr Cemetery, Cameron Cemetery, Chadsey Cemetery, Locie Cemetery, Pleasant Bay Cemetery, Weeks Cemetery

North Marysburgh
Active: Rose Cemetery
Inactive: Dingman Lumley Cemetery, E. Powers Farm Cemetery, Keller’s Hill Cemetery, Storms (Slater) Cemetery, Turner Hill (Sheedy) Cemetery, Waupoos Cemetery, Wright and Ross Cemetery

Inactive: Johnson Cemetery, St. Mary Magdalene Anglican

South Marysburgh
Inactive: Clapp Cemetery, Dingham Cemetery, Mack Cemetery, South Bay Cemetery, Sterling Grimmon Farm Cemetery

Active: Sophiasburgh Cemetery
Inactive: Bethel (Doxsee) Cemetery, Big Island Cemetery, Demorestville Cemetery, Foster Cemetery, Lazier Cronk Cemetery, Quaker Cemetery, Roblin Cemetery, Roblin Mills Cemetery, Solmes (Stickney) Cemetery, Whitney Cemetery

The head office in charge of all active cemeteries in Price Edward County is Glenwood Cemetery, at Picton.

Click here to visit the Ontario Genealogical Society Cemetery transcriptions on the Archives of Ontario website. The Quinte Branch Ontario Genealogical Society also offers cemetery transcripts





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