By in Travel

A Tale of Two Cemeteries

Two weeks ago I was on vacation in New Brunswick, and my brother took me to see his cottage. On the county road near where his cottage is are two small cemeteries about four kilometers apart. Upon some spur-of-the-moment exploration I discovered that one of them contained the grave of a distant cousin of mine, while the other appeared to be a family cemetery given the number of stones that bore the same surname.

The first is the White's Cove United Church Cemetery. There was a church on the grounds once, but it was closed in 1967 along with several other area churches when the congregations were amalgamated. The church building was subsequently demolished and no trace remains. The cemetery however has been lovingly maintained: grass mowed, flower displays on the graves, and such. Church cemeteries are entitled to perpetual care by the community they once served.

The second cemetery is heavily overgrown and once had a fence and sign in front which have now fallen, making the place hard to see from the road. This is the Dykeman Cemetery, once (and supposedly still) on land owned by the Dykemans, a prominent family in the area dating back to the 1790s. The most recent date of burial was in 1961, and since then the descendants have let the place go back to forest except for some haphazard trimming every few years. Lily of the valley covers the ground and rose bushes that once decorated graves have grown wild.

But these are far better fates than total abandonment, which happened to many thriving parishes in the county when they were expropriated in 1953 for the creation of Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. Those stones stand guard alone, save for the occasional remembrance ceremony.


Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/tombstone-cenotaph-694106/ by Hans

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Comments

msiduri wrote on July 20, 2015, 10:07 AM

Organizations like Find a Grave or the local historical society can at least capture the information on the headstones before it's lost. Gaining permission shouldn't be too difficult.

Sailorchronos wrote on July 20, 2015, 10:25 AM

Both of those cemeteries I mentioned have been cataloged on several historical web sites.

msiduri wrote on July 20, 2015, 11:51 AM

There is that then. Too bad the one will fade into forest, though.

DWDavisRSL wrote on July 20, 2015, 2:38 PM

Here in NC there are numerous small graveyards scattered about the countryside, including many created during the Civil War and then abandoned.