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A Time Line of Maple Leaf and St Anthony's Cemeteries


(Still needed. Date for opening of new mausoleum, etc.)

1640 - November. Fathers Brebeuf and Chaumonot set to visit the Attiwandaron towns in the region of St Marie among the Hurons. (Today's Midland.) That winter they visited villages at and near the site of what is today Maple Leaf and St Anthony's Cemeteries in Chatham. We do not know what took place in Chatham but we do know they were treated terribly everywhere. On their way home they hit a storm, and if not for the kindness of one native woman they would have perished.

Before 1871. People were buried in cemeteries throughout the city.

1869. The city passed a bylaw July 30 to close the cemeteries mentioned above and have all burials in one place. The city decides to open a new cemetery. Maple Leaf and ST A's were "born". The city sent 3 men to Purchase land from Patrick Tobin (Name John Tobin also mentioned in a document) for $3430.
Another 8 acres of land were purchased for St Anthony's by Father Alphonsus Baudin who was the St. Joseph's Parish Church Rector. (We also have mention 0f 20 acres, 21 acres, and 21 3/4 acres. This may be the total of the two areas purchased.) It was later found that cemetery land could not be resold to the Catholics so all land stayed as part of Maple Leaf.

1871 April 4. Plots sold in St Anthony's. (St A's) (Probably sold before transaction below fully completed.)

1871 April 14 -- the Catholic portion of the Cemetery bought from Patrick Tobin. [Chatham Banner, Aug. 10, 1892] (St A's)

1871 May 28 -- the Catholic portion of the Cemetery was consecrated by Rt. Rev. John B. Walsh. [Chatham Banner, Aug. 10, 1892] (St A's)

1871 June 9. Mary (Kehoe or Keough) Doyle from Raleigh, Buried on June 9, 1871 this is documented in the St. Joseph's Parish Records. First burial in St Anthony's Cemetery. (St A's)

1871 July 7. The bylaw creating the cemetery and it's rules was passed. (M/L)

1871. Survey work was done on Maple Leaf and the protestant areas were opened. The Wards opened were lettered A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and a Potter's Field across the creek in the angle field. (Now filled) Note that Block O of St Anthony's is NOT mentioned. That is because St A's was a totally separate cemetery. (M/L)

1871 Lots created. Cemetery Lots in the year 1871. Ward A 591 lots. Ward B 268 lots. Ward C 85 lots. Ward D 163 lots. Ward E 151 lots. Ward F 599 lots. Ward G 253 lots. Ward H 395 lots. (M/L - Maple Leaf)

1871 July 27, "Weekly Planet" reports Quote "the building of a house for the Superintendent of the Cemetery, at a cost of $528.25" Note the exact cost. This suggests it is completed at that time. (M/L)

1871 Thomas Sainsbury was appointed first Cemetery Superintendent at the opening of the cemetery in 1871 and served until the Spring of 1895. (M/L)

1871 Nov. 20, "the transfer of bodies from the old Catholic burial ground and their re-internment in St. Anthony's cemetery took place". [Chatham Banner, Aug. 10, 1892] (St A's)

1889 Planet write up describes superintendent of M/L as "sunning himself outside the fence, looking well pleased and in good condition." Also, "Some of the polished scotch granite monuments would not be out of place in a metropolitan burying ground." But "One of them, massive and costly but badly foundationed leaned tower of Pisa fashion." (M/L)

1889 Planet writes that there should be a pavilion or shed in M/L to shelter visitors in sudden rains, and stairs down to the creek (water). Thus confirming that there was no such building at that time there.

1893 190 burials. (M/L)

1894 June 11. Council (Park and Cemetery Committee) agree to purchase 20 acres of land from E W Scane (possibly Scone) for an arbitrated price. Earlier he had asked for $200 per acre, or $150 per acre if they left a roadway of 66 feet between the cemetery and his property. (Cannot tell if this was included in the 20 acres.) Documentation in regards to the Old Mausoleum in M/L's construction now prove that this was the second phase of Maple Leaf Cemetery as we had previously thought but could not prove until finding this further documentation. (M/L)

1894 August 20. Reported to council drainage of East side of Maple Leaf completed and working at cost of $462.57 and that "It is working satisfactory and will be a great improvement to the cemetery." Documentation shows this allowed more lots to be opened. *Caution... East side may mean either side of the creek. 670 feet of 8 inch and 1600 feet of 6 inch at depth of 6 to 7 feet.

1894 Dec 15. Bylaw re Maple Leaf passed in an amended form. (M/L)

1894 218 burials. (M/L)

1895 Homer B. Turner Superintendent from March 1, 1895 until Spring of 1910 (M/L)

1895 191 Burials. (M/L)

1896 Foundress of St Ursulines interred. (St A's.) First burial of Ursulines in St A's. Those buried before at the Pines were moved here later.

1896 160 Burials. (M/L)

1897 Recorded in the Planet that a cemetery still exists in a "Cow Pasture" at the easterly extremity of Stanley Avenue. "Bodies still lie there .... has been left for years with broken down, unsightly fences."

1909 May 31: Ald Baxter reported plans "1. Re Morgue at Cemetery, by turning present tool house into a morgue and move drive shed along side of morgue for tool house the cost of same will be between $40 & $50. adopted

1909 June 14: Ald. Baxter stated the Cemetery Committee has sold the old cemetery dwelling to N. A. McGeachy for $65.00 and asked that the action be approved." [Perhaps the Superintendent's house of 1871?]

1909 The "Morgue" opened in Maple Leaf. To be used "to store bodies ..... when it was impossible to bury them." Planet writes The morgue will also prove a convenient place for holding of burial services when weather is increment outside. The building has "trusses, new steps, and doors" confirming it existed before as something else. Building is quoted as being twenty feet long by 14 feet wide. Cost to repair estimated at $50 but completed for $38.75. [Chatham Daily Planet June 22, 1909] [It is now known for certain that this is NOT the red brick building that we see today. It was constructed 11 years later.]

1910 J. Ross Stringer Superintendent from June 1, 1910 until December of 1940 (M/L)

1913 June 28th. Mayor commented on number of monuments in cemetery "Laying down" and asked for a report on the issue at council.

1913 October 5th. The "Mortuary" opened in St Anthony's. It included a tool room, a morgue, and a "Rest Room". (Newspaper of October 5 quoted as day before.) When the burials were to take place, the part where the stained glass window is was where any people could get in out of the cold or bad weather when they were waiting for actual burials to be done. This bit of info is documented in the tidbits that ancestors have written in the old family bibles. Members of our group have seen it. We also now have proof that there were funerals held there. We have talked to an individual who attended one. (St A's)

1913 October 5th. Cruicifixion Group monument blessed in St Anthony's. Same ceremony as above. The Crucifixion Statue was erected on a plot that was to be reserved for the burial of Catholic Clergy only. And as such, that is all that is buried there. (St A's)

1914 Old Mausoleum talked of and began in Maple Leaf. Used in bad weather for cemetery services until 1971. Old Mausoleum has 61 crypts. It was mentioned earlier to have 300 to 400 crypts but for some reasons that idea was abandoned. It contained the crypts and a central area that could be used for a chapel. It was never OFFICIALLY opened from what we can tell. Probably due to WW1 being in progress at the time. See Old Mausoleum History pages for further information. We do not at the moment know exact completion date but the building itself was already complete at Christmas 1914 though work on the grounds still remained. (M/L)

Aug and Nov 1914. Council talks of a new bridge in M/L cemetery.

1915 March 23. Page 239. Council records mention a request by A request by W H Clifferton (Clipperton?) of Toronto asking that his lot be transferred to Thos Graves(?) chief of police.

1915 June 28. Page 281. Council minutes mention deciding to send letters of condolence to the wives and near relatives of the men who have lost their lives at the front. Letters to be sent to Mrs Geo Smith(?). Mrs Wm Murcock. Mrs Richard Dennis. Mrs Jos Jonier. And Mr Croucher.

1916 March 20. Page 395. Caretaker's wife asks to have two rooms painted and papered at a cost of $9.50.

1916 May 1. Page 417. Small House AT ENTRANCE TO CEMETERY needs a new roof. Exact location of this building not known today.

1916 May 16. Page 426. Ross Stringer's request for increase in Salary for supt for cemetery be increased from $50 to $60 per month.

1916 May 29. Page 434. City investigating putting water to the cemetery and the Hydro Commission paying part of the cost.

1916 June 26. Page 449. City to make a diagram at four feet to the inch to show location of graves in the cemetery so locations can be identified. Cemetery Committee to be empowered to secure tenders.

1916. July 10 Page 455. Issue of diagram of cemetery graves to be delayed until winter as engineers should have more time to do it then. Also investigation to be made into paying for new water to cemetery by debentures.

1920 Stone Arch erected at entrance to Maple Leaf by IODE. (M/L)

1922 New Maple Leaf Cemetery Opened. (i.e. expansion of Maple Leaf.) (M\L)

1928 "Soldier's Memorial Field" opened. (M\L) Mylie James Smith (a very successful grain dealer) was the Mayor of Chatham at the time.

1928 There was a wooden fence between St A's and M/L cemeteries for a long period. Information indicates that a Mr A L Thompson may have been the city manager who had it removed, and he was only manager in the year 1928. We do not know when it was installed, but it is probably safe to assume that it was near the time of original opening of both "Old" Cemeteries.

1930-31 Another bridge in the cemetery. Workers made 35 cents an hour to haul dirt out of the ditch with wheelbarrows pulled by ropes. (Depression Labor Project) The is probably the bridge in St A's. (St A's)

1931 Work on NEW St Anthony's Cemetery begins. (i.e. expansion of St Anthony's.)

1931 First mention of Perpetual Care in Council minutes in Old Maple Leaf Cemetery.(M\L)

1933 New St Anthony's opens.

1941 Charles L. Moon Superintendent from January 1, 1941 until December 30 1960 (M/L)

1954 Wrought Iron Archway / Entrance erected for Remembrance Field. Before that time it was called "Remembrance Field" or sometimes "Soldier's Field".

1961 George T. Moon Superintendent from January 1, 1961 until September 30, 1975 (M/L)

1971 New Funeral Chapel built by Canadian Legion Branch 23. (For use by both Cemeteries.)

1975 George H. Manninger Superintendent from October 1, 1975 until April 30, 1992 (M/L)

1994 New Mausoleum constructed holding 140 crypts, and 240 niches.

1995 Moon family moved out of cemetery house. It was torn down shortly after. (Date unknown at the moment.) (M/L)

1996 December 31, 44,561 interments in Maple Leaf Cemetery.

2009 Dedication of new markers in "Soldier's Memorial Field" for many graves of soldiers in that area that had previously been unmarked. 47 new markers unveiled that day with another 17 more to come soon hopefully. You will also find a fair number of soldiers' memorial stones scattered throughout the grounds. (M/L)

No date known. A crematorium for Chatham? Mary Manninger indicates that George Manninger had plans to have a crematorium in the cemetery, But when he had approached the City with the plans of having one built for $50,000.00 total, with gas lines and hydro lines run into the area, the Town Council turned it down. Cremations were becoming a thing of that present day then and he thought this would be a benefit to Chatham. This would have probably been in his term there from 1975 to 1992.