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.

Soundscapes Hamilton – Crows of St. Andrew’s Church Ancaster Ontario

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church – recorded Oct 10th, 2014.

The congregation was founded in 1826 by Rev. George Sheed who came from Scotland. In 1830, Rev. Sheed built a home on the Hermitage property, just a short distance down a country lane from the future church.

The original St. Andrew’s church was a framed building on a stone foundation. Construction started in 1832, but Sheed died before work could be completed. As a result, Rev. Sheed became the first person to be buried in the Church’s cemetery.

The wooden church was replaced by the current stone structure in 1874.

June 1855 Limestone Gates are added to the property from the estate of George Rolph of Dundas

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

1854 Rastrick removes front doors that originated from the Richard Beasley House

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