MacNab’s Inchbuie one of many examples of early settler cemeteries in Hamilton Ontario

Here is an example of a family plot in St. Luke’s Anglican Church cemetery, located in Burlington, Ontario. MacNab’s cemetery may have been similar in appearance.
Here is an example of a family plot in St. Luke’s Anglican Church cemetery, located in Burlington, Ontario. MacNab’s cemetery may have been similar in appearance.

 

Death doesn’t wait for anyone, in the days before church and city cemeteries, early Hamilton settlers had the practical problem of where to bury their dead.

So, for those with large properties, setting aside a small portion of land (that they already own) seemed to be the ideal solution. In addition to saving money, family farm cemeteries eased the task of visiting and caring for them.

During his lifetime, Allan MacNab was part of the Scottish congregation that gave rise to St. Andrew’s Church. Established in 1830, within a few years a wood frame church and cemetery was established on the site that is now hom to St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. As a result, when his only son died from a hunting accident in 1834, he could have easily afforded a burial at the new church, but instead he decided to bury him at Dundurn.

It is likely his son was buried next to his mother, who died in 1825, before the existence of St. Andrews Church, in the place he would call Inchbuie.

Today, none of the family is buried here, but that is a story for another day.

Sir Allan MacNab buried at the family cemetery called Inchbuie, located at Dundurn Castle,Hamilton Ontario

The former family cemetery for the MacNab at Inchbuie
The former family cemetery for the MacNab at Inchbuie

Sir Allan MacNab was buried with: his son (Robert MacNab); his parents (Allan and Anne MacNab); his first wife (Elizabeth Brooke MacNab); his second wife (Mary Stuart MacNab); his brother (David Archibald MacNab); two of his brother’s children; and MacNab’s daughter (Minnie MacNab Daly).

Yr 1862 MacNab dies on Aug 8th at Dundurn Castle, Hamilton Ontario

Dundurn Castle, Hamilton (Ont). Photo by @erskinec
Dundurn Castle, Hamilton (Ont). Photo by @erskinec

Odds and Ends – The Dead Shaping Our Urban Landscapes

Hermitage Ghost Walk 2014
Hermitage Ghost Walk 2014

Odds and Ends – an artist’s notebook

Oct 19th – The month of the dead is fast approaching; and before that Halloween. So, who says the dead can’t have something to say about urban landscapes. Until end of November, I am going to focus cemetery landscapes.

Halloween has deep roots in Celtic history and lore. The end of October marked the end of the harvest season and the ancient Celts would take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. It was also a time when boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and sometimes cause troubles by making people sick or damaging crops.

All Soul Day is held on Nov 2nd and marks a time to pray for those who have died with grace but still must atoned for all their sins. There is the belief that if you pray for the dead then their time in purgatory may be shorten. While the day is set aside for prays, essentially the whole month is a time for remembering the dead.

Over the next 6 weeks, I am going to look at how 19th century concerns with death and the dead, shaped one of the major feature of our urban landscape – cemeteries.

Hopefully, everyone will find this journey an enjoyable one.