Calendar of Events:
Dates for 2019/2020:
Monday 18 November 2019, 7 pm: Board Meeting, Port Maitland Fire Hall
Monday 17 February 2020, 1 pm: Bill Curry Photography Gallery, Port Maitland
Monday 27 April 2020, 7 pm: Annual General Meeting, Port Maitland Fire Hall
Monday 25 May 2020, 7 pm: Board Meeting, Port Maitland Fire Hall
Friday 7 August 2020: Set Up for Port Maitland Heritage Days (all day)
Saturday 8 August 2020: Port Maitland Heritage Day – Dessert Café, Sale and BBQ, – PM Fire Hall
Sunday 9 August 2020 – Cemetery tour – Calvinist and Island Cemetery, 2 pm
Monday 28 September 2020, 7 pm: Board Meeting, Port Maitland Fire Hall
Monday 16 November, 2020 – 7 pm: Board Meeting, Port Maitland Fire Hall
Great article on Old Stones in the Chronicle Herald !
Want to join us or donate to the cause?
Please go here, any amount is welcomed!
A local writer does a blog on her website, and she came to the Old Stones cemeteries late last month. I gave her the tour of the three cemeteries, and she has now written a great article about our efforts…
What a great day in Port Maitland –
Thanks to all who came and supported the Old Stones efforts. We raised more money than we had hoped for, and all of it will go toward the restoration, preservation and perpetuation of our three historic cemeteries. People seemed to be having a great deal of fun, and the food was simply incredible.
Thanks to all who donated, who supported us and who gave so freely of their time and money.
The community should be proud of an amazing event!
Bill Curry – Chair, Old Stones
What a great afternoon! An intrepid crew came out to the Calvinist Cemetery this afternoon and probed for missing stones. Working from a list done in the late 1800’s it had become apparent that we have a dozen or so folks buried in the cemetery that we didn’t have markers for. Sometimes in the past markers have been stolen, but often they just fall over and get covered over, since this cemetery was last active in the 1870’s and was the last to be restored in 2004, it wasn’t surprising that some markers might have been just “lost” to us by toppling. Our team probed the likely areas and discovered two new residents! The write-up is now adjusted for the family of Sarah Goudey, who was a known resident, but now we have the markers for her husband John Wellwood Goudey and their daughter Sarah Adelaide Goudey. It turns out John and his daughter Sarah died almost exactly a month apart in 1865 from typhoid fever, and both markers were found next to Sarah’s existing marker. The photos below show the action as we made the discovery, and the write-up for the family is on Old Stones website. Thanks to all those who came out and helped – and now we get to add information to our database.
Potluck Lunch and Auction
Saturday 23 August, 12 Noon (doors open at 11:30 am)
Auction begins at 2 pm
Port Maitland Fire Hall
Some of the best food in Port Maitland appears on plates at the famous potluck events sponsored by Old Stones. Following lunch there will be an auction of wonderful donated items from members of the community. There will be a draw for the raffle of three great items—tickets are on sale now. All proceeds go to support the preservation and maintenance by Old Stones of three historic cemeteries in Beaver River and Port Maitland—Founders, Free Will Baptist and Calvinist Baptist. Admission Free. Donations Welcome.
Tour of the historic Calvinist Baptist Cemetery in Port Maitland
& older gravestones in the Port Maitland/Beaver River Cemetery
followed by a
Strawberry Social in the Port Maitland Fire Hall
Sunday, 13 July, 2 pm. (Tour); 3:30 pm (Social)
Meet at Calvinist Baptist Cemetery, Highway 1, Port Maitland
(there will be someone there to give parking instructions)
Join Wilfred Allan as he takes you on a tour of the graves of the “residents” in the Calvinist Baptist Cemetery, one of the three historic Beaver River and Port Maitland cemeteries maintained by Old Stones. This will be followed by a tour of graves of some of the people buried in the Old Stones cemeteries who were removed to the newer and still active Port Maitland/Beaver River Cemetery across the street.
Following the tour join us at the Port Maitland Fire Hall for some delicious strawberry shortcake.
Sponsored by Old Stones
Rain or Shine. Admission Free for both events. Donations Welcome.
In 1999, the three cemeteries in Beaver River and Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, Canada lay hidden by alders and other brush that stood over 8 feet tall, rendering the cemeteries as almost forgotten. In that year, a community group was formed, under the leadership of the late Rev. Ulric Dawson, dedicated to the restoration and maintenance of the cemeteries. Recently, the group has expanded its efforts to educating people about the importance of these three historic places. With the assistance of a group of grade 4 students from Port Maitland Elementary School, the Old Stones Society has mapped the three cemeteries using GPS technology, and has created unique QR codes leading users to a website the Society has created.
The over 130 “residents” of the three old cemeteries are mainly descendants of the early founders of Yarmouth County, tracing their family history to Yarmouth township’s beginnings in 1761. As well, more than half of the residents can name at least one passenger on the Mayflower as an ancestor, and almost as many can trace their lineage back to the very earliest English speaking settlers of Nova Scotia. The Old Stones website (www.oldstones.ca) is bound to become a favorite with genealogists and history students alike as the society continues to add information about these earliest families of the area. The project undertaken with the help of the grade 4 students, has resulted in small red-gray bricks being placed in front of every grave marker – and every brick has fixed on it a QR code, a small postage stamp sized graphic which, when read with a smart phone or other Internet enabled device, leads the user to the individual profile for the person who is buried near the brick. While QR code technology is now being used on modern monuments, and can occasionally be seen in historic places to mark certain persons or events of importance, this may be the first time entire cemeteries have been linked by QR technology to an extensive website profiling every single person, and containing information about the area and its history. The students also created a map, accurate to within 3 feet, of the gravesites in the cemeteries which is online at the society’s website.
The Old Stones Society has news, minutes and other information on its website, and hosts events such as strawberry socials and cemetery tours on an annual basis. The society is looking forward to continuing the project – to continuing the maintenance and restoration of the cemeteries and to make more and more people aware of the importance of these three unique places and the history of the people who were buried there.
(Top photo by Bill Curry Photography, bottom photo by Debbie Roberts)