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The History of the Roads and Bridges in our Largest Cemeteries

City of Chatham, Ontario

With special Thanks to Michelle and Paul at the Archives of Chatham-Kent

In Council Minutes Aug 25 1913

Ald presented plan of the new city bridge by city engineer. Moved that new plan be accepted. Carried.

In Council Minutes Aug 19 1914 page 466

Ald Holmes presented an estimate from the city engineer on the cost of a bridge in the cemetery as follows. A reinforced concrete structure two arch spans 45 foot each $3980.00. Light street structure. 80 foot long concrete abutments and a reinforced floor $3500.00 and a street trestle 80 foot long concrete abutments reinforced concrete floor with supports $2700.00.
Ref over to next meeting.

In Council Minutes Nov 17 1913.

Ald ... stated ... the bridge is almost done. There is obviously an error in this book somehow here, as the bridge could not be finished, and still be being planned a year later. It may be that only the first stage of plans were finished at this time.

In Council Minutes Nov 25 1914 page 500

Ald Lister presented estimates from the city engineer for new bridges over McGregor's Creek in the cemetery, ...
Over McGregor's Creek in Cemetery Concrete $3980, or light steel truss $3900 or Steel Tresle $3500. ...
Mr Adams (City Engineer) stated that ... for the cemetery bridge reinforced concrete would make the most graceful bridge, or a steel trestle would make a nice bridge.

In Council Minutes Feb 25 1913

Petition from Rev Fr James, P P John Pleasance, and Dr H J Sullivan, Committee St Anthony's Cemetery asking that the new cemetery bridge be built at the Northest(?) Line of Maple Leaf Cemetery, in order that the road leading there and the new bridge may be used for both cemeteries.
Moved and Seconded that the matter be referred to the Cemetery Committee and city engineer to investigate and report.

In Council Minutes April 29 1913

Stated the cemetery committee ordered a (Lite to put under the cemetery road???) at Eastern Gate. Also new gate and posts. Donation approved.

In Council Minutes Nov 2 1914

That they be empowered to sufficient gravel to protect the road at the approaches of the new cemetery bridge from high water.

Worth noting that at this date ... that the caretaker of the cemetery take such measures as he deems necessary to rid the cemetery of crows during this winter.

We know that the first expansion of Maple Leaf into the area where the Old Mausoleum now sits was in 1904 and the next in 1920. Thus the new gates mentioned above would likely have been not too far from the gates that exist today, but it can never be known for certain as this information is now lost.

We know that in 1920 a Stone Arch was erected at entrance to Maple Leaf by IODE. (M/L)