Old Stones

Welcome to Old Stones –



Breaking News:
Great article on Old Stones in the Chronicle Herald !

For decades the Founders Cemetery, the Free Will Baptist Cemetery, and the Calvinist Baptist Cemetery in Beaver River and Port Maitland, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada were objects of neglect. Most people driving by did not know these cemeteries, overgrown with alders and brush, were even there.founders

In 1999 the Old Beaver River/Port Maitland Cemeteries Preservation Society, under the leadership of the Rev. Ulric Dawson, was formed. The group is committed to the restoration and maintenance of the three cemeteries. The Founders, Free Will Baptist and Calvinist Baptist Cemeteries have been restored to the point they are capable of being mowed. Many grave markers have been placed upright, and we continue to restore and preserve the three historic graveyards. All have signage, a guest book in season and each has a map that details the location of grave markers, plus each cemetery has QR codes so that people may access genealogical and other data about these buried here while standing at the site of any person’s marker.

This website documents the Society’s efforts to restore and maintain the cemeteries, and also serves as a way people may access information about the Society and its activities, and how one may also access information about the residents in the three cemeteries. The cemeteries are registered heritage properties in the Province, and many of the residents have interesting stories still to tell, and the information here can provide much genealogical detail.

The Old Beaver River and Port Maitland Cemeteries Preservation Society, also known as Old Stones Society, has information about each historic cemetery and profiles online of all the residents in them. You may view information about each cemetery (see the list under Cemeteries in the black bar above) or a list of each of the Residents which then links to a web page for each Resident or Removal and some information about them.

We welcome feedback – please send your comments or questions to us, and check back often as we up date the site frequently !

We hope you enjoy your visit to our virtual home, we hope even more that you may someday visit our beautiful area and see history for yourself.

To contact us:
e-mail: info@oldstones.ca
mail: Old Stones Society, 3455 Highway 1, Port Maitland, NS B5A 5T6
phone: 902-740-6811

31 thoughts on “Old Stones

  1. This site is just wonderful – a dream come true!! For years we have been talking about the possibility of one day having a web site for the Society, and thanks to the efforts of our newest board member, Bill Curry, HERE IT IS!! Thanks to Bill and this site, all the hard work that has been taking place over the past twelve years will be more widely known, and perhaps serve as an example of what can be accomplished by a very dedicated and determined group of volunteers who truly believe in the worth of their work. This has all been accomplished with lots of sweat and tears, and very little in the way of cold, hard cash. All to the end that those buried in these burying grounds will not be forgotten.

  2. I’m thrilled to have this welcomed web site for the cemeteries.

    I for one appreciate all the hours of labor you all have put into the
    “Old Stone” cemeteries.

    I’m a desendant of Joseph Sollows, a founder of Port Maitland who is buried in the Founders Cemetery.

    Barbara Surette

  3. So happy to see this! My brother,Dave and I spent time there about ten years ago trying to dig through the overgrowth to see the old stones. Will surely be on my list to visit this summer when we come “home”
    Your hard work and great effort is to be commended. Thank-you!!

  4. Wow! This is an awesome tribute to the dedication and hard work of those who value our heritage. Thank you so much for all you’ve done and continue to do to keep our history alive! The cemetaries themselves have been transformed and revived and are a wonderful walk through history. Thank you all for your passion and commitment!

  5. The strawberry social and graveyard tour were wonderful events. Mom brought my brother and me along to see the work your committee has done and we were impressed to see the scope of this project. You are an example to other communities with hidden forgotten graveyards.
    Ebenezer Corning would be pleased.

  6. Yes, I too, was fortunate to be home this summer and enjoyed the tour of the old cemeteries (and strawberry social)…..Wilfred Allen (aka Squire John Crawley) made history ‘come alive’. Never realized before, but there are ‘Crosby’s’ in the OLD BEAVER RIVER FOUNDERS CEMETERY …..very interesting!! Thanks to everyone who realize how important our past is – and hopefully will continue for the future generations.

    • That was a while ago, your comment, but I am researching James Crosby who married Sarah Porter. His father James m Mary Patten. Josiah b about 1822 was son of James and Sarah. He m Maria Parry (born 20 Oct 1833) and I am researching diary written by their daughter Louise (Louisa) Annie who lived in Clements now known as Deep Brook. She went by Annie. Do you have any history of these three couples or Maria’s line? Or photographs.? Thanks vyoungmount@gmail.com

  7. Great to see that this old cemetary is being restored & maintained – Visited here in the late 1980s – (My dad, “Don Raymond” grew up in Beaver River and lots of my reletives are laid to rest here – (Raymonds, Gullisons, Crosbys, Hersheys) – Keep up the good work –


  8. I was given this web sight by Cheryl Anderson, daughter of Hazel Trask. Hazel helped me in 2004 when I visited Yarmouth and surrounding areas. My great great grandparents are buried in the old Beaver River cemetery, along with other members of my family, Goldfinch and Jenkins. I am thrilled to be able to see what is being done at the cemetery. Thank you for this web site! I live in Oregon and therefore visits are not too often. I would love to return one day.

  9. Good to see the old cemeteries restored. As a child I remembered walking through the old cemeteries and wonderered why they were not being kept up. I also remember working one vacation at the cemetry. Also I recall some tombstones in the woods across from Annie Dentremonts house and I was wondering if these are part of the restoration work.T hank you again for the effort

  10. Bill you’ve done a great job with this website. This makes it easy for those living away to access these cemeteries. I’ve noticed all of the physical work that the Society has done and this just adds to it.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if more cemeteries could do this.

    Carol Jacquard

  11. Hello,

    To compliment the excellent work done by you and your Society and to broaden the awareness, I have added you to the Port Maitland.net website.
    Best wishes

  12. first off congrats for a job well done, my wife and her family are from Port-Maitland im sure some family members are there.im sure if anyone done some family tree looking like i have over the years they must! have had to visit this ‘ now great looking grave yard ‘ for some searching. even now i still get a different name to search ,and for me it the story behind that person,that makes the find once found even greater.
    so again congrats on a job long in the works.

  13. this is an awesome project and will be place where future generations will be able to go visit their family members and for genealogy buffs like me, it is a hoard of information…thank you

  14. Some may remember that my wife Sandy Dennis and I bought Annie D’Entremont’s old house accross from one of the old cemeteries (the very last house in Port Maitland at the end of the Cemetery Road. The house was in “terrible” condition and probably would have fallen in were it not for our two years of hard labour. We brought life back into that old house just as the society has brought life back into the old cemeteries, if that is the correct way to put it. Many times I looked down upon what once was a tangled mess of bushes but just didn’t have the time or energy to do anything about it. Luckily for us that some had the time and energy to devote to the restoration project. Many have already enjoyed the results just as many more will down the road.

  15. The board members of the Age Advantage Association/Bridgetown and area community mapping gang thanks you so much for all your time yesterday, your great information and the tours. We hope to see you in September.

  16. Wonderful web site. I worked several years at the Port Maitland Beaver River Cemetery back in the early 80’s until I joined the Air Force, and I never knew about these older cemeteries. Great to see how they have been fixed up and cared for now. Next time I’m down from Dartmouth I plan to tour the sites and have a closer look. For my own interest sake, what was the reasoning behind the removals? Why were they moved from one site to the other? Thanks.

  17. I’ve been to a couple of your strawberry teas, (DELICIOUS), and a walking tour of the old cemetery. Being a senior, it was difficult to walk on the uneven ground at times and some men were kind enough to offer chairs when we needed them. Greatly appreciated. Looking forward to another “walk” to see the new improvements made.

  18. Love your website. Great work! I am involved in restoring an old cemetery in Cumberland County. We have just completed year one of the restoration. And are planning for next year. Signage is one of our projects and I’m very interested in the concept and design of your sign, Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  19. Good Day
    What a great initiative.
    I have a question. My own ancestors were Mennonites who settled the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario in 1799. They came from Penn. Their stones are faded and weather worn and I would like to refurbish them The local historical society will not allow replacement, so I am wondering what you may have done here to preserve or refresh the grave stones.
    Please send me an e-mail — thanks,
    Fred Honsberger

    • The efforts here to do the website and the QR codes took us 6 years, and we’re still working on some of it. I would suggest that if folks like the idea of doing this, they form their own group to do other cemeteries, and I’d love to see one for Lake George. But, the short answer is no, we won’t be extending Old Stones to Lake George. Let me know if you need any help setting up something for your own group, though!

  20. I wonder if anyone can tell me where a place called Ebenezer is in Yarmouth area. Is it an old settlement renamed? Am researching Clements, Crosby, Parry and Raymond families and came across the name. One person was listed as being from there. Thanks

  21. To Bill Curry: Drawn to your Website in researching the family name of Curry, I am interested to know any information that you can share. The following information is from David Howard Curry: David’s father, Frank Burns Curry (b.1881) left Maitland, NS, about 1916 to Boston, MA and eventually formed a mill work company in a 7-story factory building with a railroad running through it. The company completed major projects for institutions such as, MIT, Macey’s in NYC, Howard Johnson’s nationwide, and others. David Curry, who eventually took over the company, remembers his grandfather to be Howard Curry from Maitland. Please let me know if you have more information on the Maitland Curry family.
    Bill Chapin

  22. I am hoping someone in your area knows if there are any school or church photos available of any of the old folks from Deerfield or Beaver River. Am looking for photos, at any age, or any info on Louise Annie Crosby DTR of Josiah and Maria (Parry) Clements. Annie born Sept 23 1860 in Clements(Deep Brook) where her parents had moved to. Married Benjamin R Clements 17 Feb1887, he was born 1853,son of Ben and Susan, in Yarmouth or Deerfield. Sea Captain for years and then train station agent. Their sons were Benjamin and Pearl D. Benjamin R married previously to Ida Crosby and had daughter Beatrice born Dec 30 1880. All children removed to USA as adults. Can you help?

  23. I am looking for information on cleaning old marble grave stones and repairing the broken ones. Good information is hard to find. What materials are the best to use. What epoxy is best for joining the parts back together?

    • Cleaning of stone grave markers has to be done with extreme care. You can use a very soft brush, think toothbrush, and water to clean them – but use no force. The biggest mistake people make is to clean with detergent and water and a stiff brush – at the end you have two things from that:
      1. A clean stone, but look in the water pail – that gravel in the bottom, that’s the face of the stone you’ve now wiped off!
      2. You have now smeared whatever spores were on the stone over the entire face of the stone. It will look great for a year or two, until the spores grow and you’ll have the entire stone covered.
      Our advice is, unless it’s impossible to read – leave the stone alone. If you HAVE to clean it, do so very carefully and take your time with nothing harsher than a very soft toothbrush.

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