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The two lone graves of an abandoned and near-forgotten pioneer cemetery

March 2021

On the north side of Old Barrie Rd, next to the new entrance of the landfill site, east of Line 5 in Oro-Medonte Township, Ontario, sit two lone grave sites. It’s believed that these graves belonged to graves are the final resting place of black settlers who came to this region in the late 1800s.

One grave is unidentifiable, as the tombstone has been obliterated by time, but the other grave holds Elizabeth Tuck, who died in 1879 at the age of 35, and her 3 month old daughter. Although Elizabeth’s original tombstone has also been wiped clean by time, a new stone marks the grave.

Records appear to indicate that Elizabeth was the wife of David Thompson, whose name is listed at the nearby monument for the African Episcopal Church, also on Old Barrie Road at Line 3.

Oro-Medonte Township now takes care of these graves, but they can be hard to spot, especially in the summer when the vegetation around them grows, even though they are close to the roadside.

Sources: Three Graves – Ontario (talkingwallsphoto.com), The Jolly Taphophile (Graveyard Junkie): November 2014 (lostcemeteries.blogspot.com).

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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