History of Priceville Pioneer Cemetery in Ontario

Priceville Pioneer Cemetery ABANDONED SPACES

Priceville Pioneer Cemetery, established on land donated by early settlers, has been inactive since May 25, 1951 after the burial of Euphemia MacPhee. By 1950 the burying ground showed considerable neglect. Many stones were falling over or were broken. Some grave sites had sunken because the bodies had been moved to nearby McNeil Cemetery.

Mid-1950’s, the Rev. L.W. Mould set about restoring some semblance of order. The only record available was a skimpy notebook with a few ranges (rows) written in, including some names. Rev. Mould aided by the local knowledge of Belle (McKinnon) Aldcorn and cemetery board Secretary-Treasurer, Emma (McConkey) Harrison took the book to the site where the three of them carefully went up and down the rows. Mr. Mould dug into earth and weeds to find fallen slabs and then made a map of the cemetery.

Priceville Pioneer Cemetery

If you stroll through the cemetery, you will note that nearly all of the names are of
Scottish origin, such as Stewart, McArthur, McCormick, McDonald, McKinnon, and McLachlan.
Graveyard aficionados will be intrigued that in 1880, five members of the Reiley family, ages
one to nine years, were all buried in a space of fifteen days! Today the scenic, peaceful site is
maintained and managed as an extension of the McNeil Cemetery Board.

The Priceville Pioneer cemetery today is a well maintained burial ground, kept up by a caring groundskeeper. It has not always been this way as evidenced by newspaper articles from the early twentieth century. By the 1910s, the Pioneer cemetery was full to overflowing with those who cleared our land to farm and own land. Many unmarked burials are intermixed with the standing monuments, as well as a paupers area, which is mentioned in history, but unknown today as to it’s exact location in the cemetery. The new McNeil cemetery opened in 1915. Also beautifully maintained today by that same caring groundskeeper.

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