Ancestors and Their Descendants"
Before 1894 the Presbyterians in Penetanguishene had no cemetery of their own. Internments took place at St. James on the Lines Penetanguishene, Lakeview Cemetery in Midland, St Andrew's cemetery Wyebridge, or at the Methodist cemetery on Copeland Hill in Tiny Township.
This all changed with the death of Mrs. Emilia Dahms-Beck on June 2, 1893. Her husband Chas. M. Beck had her body interred in a lot opposite St. James on the Lines. He intended to buy this site for a cemetery and donate it to the Presbyterian Church. However, he discovered the site was part of the grant from the British Government to St. James Church for use as a cemetery.
In 1894 Charles Beck donated property at the northeast corner of Burke and Church Streets to the First Presbyterian Church on the condition that the church select a cemetery committee, and that they have the land surveyed, fenced and landscaped. An area was reserved for the Beck family on which they built a Mausoleum. Before it was completed Mrs. Isobella Smith, wife to Mr. James Smith, died and became the first to be buried in the new cemetery. Mr. Chas. Beck did have his wife's remains moved to the newly constructed family vault (1894).
Over the years the site received improvements;
* In the early 1940's the present gates to the entrance to the cemetery were built by Rev. M. W. Heslip, minister at the time. He was assisted in building the stone pillars by Mr. Marshall Scott and Mr. Alex McCuaig.
* The iron arch and lettering over the gates were constructed by John J. Robbins.
* The construction of the current building on Church St., intended for a winter mortuary, was funded by Nancy and Jim Scott in 1960. It was refurbished in the early 1990's, but is no longer used for this purpose.
In 1950 Mr. Chas. Scott negotiated the purchase of a parcel of land with a 300 foot frontage on Church St. just north of the Cemetery. This purchase was to give a less steep entrance to the cemetery than the existing one. However this entrance has yet to be developed.
Church History lists the first Cemetery Board Treasurer as G. H. Wright in the 1896 Annual Report.
While many of the dates and names of board members have been lost to time we do know:
* There was a committee in place from 1937 to 1950 with F. (Fred) Zoschke being secretary;
* That at a congregational meeting in 1950 the board was recognized and they prepared and circulated laws;
* That in 1970's and 1980's the cemetery was cared for and operated principally by Douglas Gerow, a member and elder of First Presbyterian Church;
* That in the late 1980's and up to present a full board was re-established under the convenorship of a member and elder of First Presbyterian Church, Shirley Spearn.
The oldest monument in the cemetery is dated 1894.
|Reynolds, Henry (1834 - 1917)
Henry Reynolds / died Jan 12 1917 / aged 82 years / and his wife / Eliza / died June 15 1917 / aged 78 years
Side 2: Henry Reynolds / 1878- 1942 / his wife / Minnie Stallibrass / 1876 - 1954
|Myers, Ann Elizabeth (d. 12 Jun 1917)
Reynolds, Henry (d. 12 Jan 1917)
Reynolds, Henry (d. 1942)
Stallibrass, Minnie (d. 1954)
thanks to all who have contributed names, dates, photographs and stories.
Corrections are always welcome.
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