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Blenheim's Evergreen Cemetery


With Special Thanks to


Deric Payne

Rev Alvin Armstrong

And an old news paper article



Originally compiled by Deric Payne from an old news paper article

In 1882, a banker by the name of Mr. J. R. Jackson purchased a 7 acre parcel of land known as part of lot 10 E.C.R. Harwich Township from Joseph, Archie and John Laird. At this time a Cemetery was started and was known locally as Jackson Cemetery. The first burial was a man by the name of Moses Jacklin. In 1884, Mr. Jackson purchased the deed for the said land for the sum of $10.00. In 1897, Mr. Jackson asked the local Town Council if they would like to purchase the Cemetery for the sum of $15.00. A committee was appointed to look into the purchase of the Cemetery at a reasonable price. At the Council meeting on November 7, 1898, the committee recommended a price of $50.00 for the Cemetery. This was accepted by Mr. D.M. McLachlan, executor of the Jackson estate.

The first caretaker was Mr. William Marshall. At the Council meeting of September 11, 1916, it was moved and passed that the fees and regulations as per Section No. 32 of the Cemetery bylaw be put into effect. From 1889 to 1916, a single grave lot was $7.00 and an 8 grave plot was $18.00. In May of 1957, a parcel of land owned by the Laurie Family to the west of the present Cemetery was optioned and purchased in 1958. At this time the Cemetery was 11.43 acres. The first burial in their new part was in 1962. Also, a 32 grave section was set aside as a Veterans Plot near the south-west corner of the new part.

Looking to the future, the Council passed a motion in 1974 to option the Laurie farm adjacent to the Cemetery for a 5 year period. On November 15, 1979, the farm was purchased from the Laurie estate. At this time, the town cleared and graded approximately 2.65 acres. The Cemetery at this time was now comprised of 14,968 single grave lots. In 1981 the Blenheim Branch 185 Royal Canadian Legion erected a beautiful Memorial Chapel which was turned over to the Town of Blenheim in January 1982. On June 6, 1981, the Chapel was officially dedicated with a decoration day to follow. As a coincidence, the first service in the new chapel was on December 29, 1981 for the late Mr. Thomas Pegg whose motherís name was the former Emma Keziak Jacklin, a relative of Mr. Moses Jacklin, the first burial in Jackson Cemetery in 1882.

The following is a bit of conjecture by one of our members

Iíve been doing some research, and although Blenheim was selling lots in Evergreen as early as 1884, it may well have NOT been THEIR cemetery yet, at least not until Jackson sold it to Blenheim in 1897. If the town really didnít buy the cemetery until 1897 as Alvin Armstrongís book suggests, then maybe the Blenheim Folk were burying their dead in Evergreen and paying someone for the graves. According to Deric Payne, Jackson didnít buy the cemetery from the Lairds until 1882, and if bodies were buried there in 1875-77 as shown below, then the Lairds must have already started a cemetery.