The Living and the Dead

St. Luke's Anglican Church, built in 1834; Burlington (Ont). Photo by @erskinec
St. Luke’s Anglican Church, built in 1834; Burlington (Ont). Photo by @erskinec

As Catherine Paterson noted in her 2013 Ph.D., thesis entitled The Heritage of Life and death in Historical Family Cemeteries of Niagara, Ontario; graves “create ties to place, people and a sense of a family’s identity over time.”

With the rise of urban churches, the relationship between the living and the dead shifted from the farm to the Church.

People would walk or ride to their local church, sometimes for quite a distance. For example, there are accounts of Lady MacNab attending service in Dundas and organizing wagon rides for local Catholics in the 1840s; they would meet at King and Hess for the 15 km journey to St. Augustine.

Death Comes Early in 19th Century Hamilton

Binkley Hallow Cemetery, Hamilton (Ont). Photo by @erskinec
Binkley Hallow Cemetery, Hamilton (Ont). Photo by @erskinec

In the early years of Hamilton, death was common and could come at any time.

Reverend John Miller took charge of Ancaster Church on August 8th, 1830 and kept a parish record from 1830 to 1838.
Scanning his entries, it is easy to discover how the young often had very short lives.

On May 22nd, 1831 Rev. Miller buried 6th month old Elias, the son of Andrew Todd and Sarah Ann Kirby.

David, son of Thomas and Margaret was born on Aug 27, 1830. Rev. Miller baptized David on Sept 20th, 1830, but one year later he was buried on Sept 23rd, 1831.

There is one story from the 1794 Annville, Pennsylvania tells how 150 on horseback and in carriages followed a young father riding a horse and cradling a small coffin in his arms

Locally, there was the story of William Notman who would a have a successful career in Canada politics.

William was born in Scotland (1805) and then moved to Dundas in 1821. In 1827, he setup a law practice in Ancaster and started to raise a family.

On Dec 11th, 1832 William’s wife, Maria, gave birth to a daughter named Maria. The baby was baptized by Rev. Miller on Dec 15th; on the same day that Rev. Miller buried Mrs Maria Notman, aged 28.

Rev. Miller noted that 250 people attended the service that Sunday.

One month later, William Notman’s 2nd daughter, Emily who was dead. Emily died on Jan 11th, 1833 at the age of two.

The Ghost Story of Lover’s Lane

Odds and Ends – an artist’s notebook

Oct 26th – In the spirit of Halloween, I have re-posted an edited version of last year’s short film: the Legend of Lover’s Lane. Based on the long standing legend from Ancaster (Ont) of what happen at the Hermitage Mansion in the early years of the 19th century.

Sight & Sounds – Reeds blowing in the wind at Cootes Paradise, Hamilton (Ont).

Christina Sealey At Carnegie Feb 6th – 7pm

 

Carnegie Gallery, Dundas (Ont)
Carnegie Gallery, Dundas (Ont)

Christina Sealey’s opening reception for her new works is  Feb 6th, 2015 at the Carnegie Gallery in Dundas, Ontario.  This should be a very interesting show because it will display a bit of a re-think on her approach to painting.

The reception starts at 7 pm and runs until 9:30 pm.  The show, itself, runs from Feb 6th until Mar 1st.

I am a big fan of Christina’s work.  I have followed Christina’s development since her Hamilton Artist Inc show back in 2002.  It is an amazing experience to be able to follow the development of an artist that you admire for both her technical and creative skills.

As many of you know, I commissioned a portrait painting of my oldest daughter and we happily received the work into our home this past December.

So, I strongly recommend that you make the time and see the show.  I would also urge you to attend the opening.

Openings are always nerve-racking.  You spend months, even years, in the studio, trying to create something that people will appreciate as original and deserving of their attention.  Suddenly, the magical night arrives and you wonder if anyone will show up.

Reward yourself and see a great artist!

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

Hamilton Artist Update 36 – Hamilton City Hall

 

http://fatcats-starvingdogs.com A weekly update of Artist Chris Erskine’s art and art related interests.

This week: traffic problems on the 403, Hermitage fate goes before Hamilton City Council, the influence of Hamilton Artist Chris Healey.

http://chrishealey.me/

 

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com
@erskinec

Meaning of Hermitage

What does the Hermitage mean to you?  This is the question posed by Leanne Pluthero and Marla Loretta (on Aug 22nd), organizers behind the Save the Hermitage Facebook page.  Artist Chris Erskine tries to answer this question as an individual and as an artist.

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

Hermitage Ruins Not History Yet!

The Hermitage Ruins have a little more time before the future is decided.

The Permits sub-committee was to hear the request by the Hamilton Conservation Authority to demolish most of the surviving walls to a height of 3 feet.  Apparently, more people wanted to attend the meeting, so the meeting has been re-scheduled to May. Hopefully, the HCA will use the time to reflect on the value of the property and decide to do a proper restoration as their consulted had suggested.

 

Hermitage Ruins, Hamilton (Ancaster), Ontario
Hermitage Ruins, Hamilton (Ancaster), Ontario

Chris Erskine

ChrisErskine@gmail.com

@erskinec