Friday, March 18, 2011

The Snow Has Melted

Hick's Bible Christian Cemetery (Abandoned), Stephen, Huron, Ontario

A lot of snow melted this week, so I decided to visit some of the cemeteries near Exeter, Ontario, and hopefully cross some gravestones off my "to be photographed" list. It was quite blustery and not as sunny as had been forecast, but it was warm for mid-March. Most of the snow had melted, and there was some puddles and mud to avoid, but I did find most of the gravestones I was looking for.

One cemetery I had not visited before was the Hick's Bible Christian Cemetery in the southeast corner of Stephen Township. While the cemetery was quite easy to find, I was less than impressed with what I found.

Abandoned pioneer cemeteries in Ontario have suffered a number of different fates. Many have been subjected to "restoration." Sometimes the stones are set closely in a row. Sometimes a cairn is built and the stones placed in the cairn. If done carefully the stones are still readable if no longer in situ. At the Hick's Bible Christian Cemetery a concrete pad was poured and the stones placed so as to take up the smallest area possible. Makes it easier to mow the grass I suppose, but it certainly does not make the stones easy to read and photograph. The cemetery has also been subjected to some vandalism with several of the outer stones damaged.

Fortunately, the two stones of interest to me were still intact and fairly accessable. As well a transcription made by the Huron Country Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society was done before much of the vandalism occured. Still, I will attempt later this year to photograph all the remaining stones for the CanadaGenWeb Cemetery Project.

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