North Frontenac unravelling history — “one tombstone at a time”

Written by  Thursday, 01 November 2018 11:31
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Coun. John Inglis shows off Carrie White’s new mural which will be displayed at the Mississippi River bridge in Snow Road. Another new mural, by Rosemary Kralik, is scheduled to be at Sherwood Park on Road 506 near Hwy. 41. The murals are a project of the Economic Development Task Force, which Inglis chairs. Photo/Craig Bakay Coun. John Inglis shows off Carrie White’s new mural which will be displayed at the Mississippi River bridge in Snow Road. Another new mural, by Rosemary Kralik, is scheduled to be at Sherwood Park on Road 506 near Hwy. 41. The murals are a project of the Economic Development Task Force, which Inglis chairs. Photo/Craig Bakay

The Clar-Mill Community Archives’ latest project is cataloguing North Frontenac’s cemeteries and as such coordinator Brenda Martin was at North Frontenac’s regular Council meeting last Friday in Plevna to outline how they plan to go about it.

“One of the first mysteries to unravel will be the determination of the oldest cemetery in North Frontenac,” Martin said. “Until a recent find, Playfair Cemetery was recorded as the oldest.

“Perhaps it is the oldest ‘registered’ cemetery.”

Watkins Cemetery (Lot 20 NER, Clarendon) on private land was recently identified and markers and historical writings would place this as the oldest cemetery in the Township with graves dating to 1862 when Bramwell Watkins had Pierpont dig a grave for his brother, Delany, who drowned in Fawn Lake on Sept. 21, 1860.

Currently, there are 13 cemeteries recognized in North Frontenac including (Ardoch) Plevna Community Cemetery, Ardoch United Church Cemetery, Cloyne Pioneer Cemetery, Dempsey Cemetery, Donaldson (Mundell) Cemetery, Grindstone (Playfair) Cemetery, Harlowe United Church Cemetery, Ompah Cemetery, Robertsville Cemetery, Sproule Family Burial, St. John’s Anglican Cemetery, St. Killian’s Catholic Cemetery and St. Mark’s Anglican (Harlowe).

“We’re looking for input (from Council) as to what to do next,” Martin said. “We want a summer student, and we have people who are willing to help.

“But there’s an inconsistent numbering system and improvements needed to the website link.”

She said there’s been a drone survey of the Robertsville Cemetery done as a pilot project and they’d like to explore doing more of that.

“But we need a Township letter of support for our grant application and after that our biggest issue would be summer students and office space for them to work in.”

“Right now we’ve got a lot of old tombstones that lawnmowers are running over,” said Coun. Gerry Martin. “And some of those old Ardoch tombstones date back to the 1880s.

“We need to look at getting them fixed.”

“I think this is an extremely worthwhile project,” said Coun. Vernon Hermer.

As per the Township procedural bylaw, the allocation of funds and resources was deferred until the nex regular meeting.

 

• • •

Council voted to commission a $7,200 engineering study for accessible washrooms at the Snow Road Hall.

But it wasn’t a unanimous decision.

Mayor Ron Higgins cast the deciding vote (there were only five Council members in attendance) agreeing with Dep. Mayor Fred Perry and Coun. Gerry Martin. Coun. Vernon Hermer and John Inglis voted against.

“I’d like to go on record as protesting against this,” said Inglis. “I don’t understand why you have to hire an engineering firm to wire a bathroom.”

“I agree with you,” said manager of community development Corey Klatt. “It’s over the top.

“But it’s required because of the (accessibility) rennovation.”

 

• • •

Mayor Ron Higgins gave notice that he’d like to review the firearms bylaw next meeting.

“We got complaints from a couple of residents,” he said. “People are hunting too close to homes.”

“The squirrels are going to be happy if I can’t shoot any more of them,” said Coun. Gerry Martin.

 

• • •

Coun. John Inglis gave notice of motion to discuss options for reducing the speed of heavy trucks and cars through Ompah.

“Apparently there are large trucks coming through at 4:30 a.m. and we got complaints from a couple of residents,” he said.

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