This is a PRIVATE website owned by John Skakel. Contact us HERE
Cemeteries Office Staff have asked that users NOT contact them with questions directly.

Back to Historical Index

The Merlin and the Doyle Cemeteries

With Thanks to Robert Gutridge and John P

There were a number of purchases/donations of property for this grave yard. The First section we are told is the far West section. It is not know at this point at least who did the donation for certain and when, etc. It became though to be known as the "Gutridge Section".

The next section was adjoining that was what was known as the Foxton section, and it was the next one added. Just beyond that was the old church and the Doyle section (see below). In behind is a newer section that was built on land owned and sold to them by the Agricultural Society and what they call the Fleming Purchase.

It has apparently been written that the original date was 1874, but it is thought to be probably well before that, that the cemetery came into use. And this of course was a very old road. Merlin in those early times was known as Smith's Corners.

Les Mancell writes of his research on this cemetery...

I would suspect that originally the cemetery might have been considered as a Methodist Church cemetery. When a Doyle moved the church building, he received some cemetery lots ... and probably it was at that time that that section came to be referred to as "Doyle Cemetery". Certainly the cemetery now is NOT a Church Cemetery; rather, as far as I know, is the village cemetery (Merlin Cemetery) with certain lots owned by the Doyle families.

The following includes information given to us by John P

... Originally Merlin's Bethel Methodist Church probably stood at the edge of Merlin Cemetery and the cemetery was the churchyard. In perhaps 1890 or 1898 (We still have to confirm that date) the next Methodist Church was built nearer the 4 corners. After N Doyle moved the old Bethel Church, the lot it used to stand on was retained by the Doyle family as a private Doyle cemetery. In the 1950's the Doyle family donated most of the land to Merlin Cemetery on the understanding that they would supply maintenance to the property and maintain the stone pillars and metal fence which fronted the lot on Aberdeen St . The pillars are still there and the Doyle family still retain several graves there. John P came across the original agreement when he was at the funeral home.

The old original Bethel Methodist Church was moved to a site across from the Hotel by Mr N Doyle, and it was used as a Livery Stable.

Apparently, then Bill Bennett bought that property and probably it was him who tore down the old livery stable (original church). He then used the property as a flower garden.