Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mount Pleasant Cemetery

Gravestones at Mount Pleasant Cemetery,
Nichol, Wellington, Ontario

Mount Pleasant is a small rural non-denominational cemetery located in what was once Nichol Township north of Guelph, Ontario. The hundred or so gravestones form a large horseshoe around a open grassed area. Gravestones on the east and north sides of the cemetery are in good condition and record deaths as early as 1861 and as late as 2012.

Abraham J. Flewwelling
The same is not true for gravestones on the west side of the cemetery, especially in the southwest corner. Whether because of vandalism or age, many of these stones are broken or toppled, and no attempt has been made to repair them. When I photographed the cemetery for the Canada Genweb Cemetery Project, I discovered a large number of headstones, footstones and pieces of headstones stacked against trees, other gravestones, and the corner post of the cemetery. Despite this I managed to locate and photograph all but one of the gravestones transcribed by the Ontario Genealogical Society in 1988.
The cemetery was originally part of the property of Abraham Jewel Flewwelling. Flewwelling was the first settler in the area, having arrived in Nichol Township in 1827 with his wife, Martha Livermore, and seven children. Flewwelling was born in New Brunswick in 1789, the son of an United Empire Loyalist of Welsh descent. Six additional children were born after the family came to Upper Canada (Ontario). Flewwelling died in 1849. His burial place is marked by a simple rectangular marble gravestone.
Jane Gaball (1843-1873)
The earliest gravestone in this cemetery is that of Henry Metcalf, who died in 1844 at the age of 46 years, having emigrated to Upper Canada in 1833. Henry was born in Yorkshire, England, and had lived near Buffalo, New York for three years prior to coming to Nichol Township.

Many of the older gravestones bear motifs and epitaphs. The gravestone of Jane Watt (1843-1873), wife of John Gaball, displays a clenched hand with one finger pointing upwards, indicating the pathway to heaven. Jane was born in Scotland, and died three days after giving birth to her fourth child. Her epitaph reads:

In death's cold arms lies sleeping here
A tender parent, a companion dear:
In love she lived, in peace she died,
Her life was asked, but was denied.

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