The Site Of The Ancient Cemetery

Note: Transcribed by John Charlton, July 2008 from a single, loose, typed document found in a binder of loose papers located in the Warkworth Library. The document is niether dated nor signed, but may be reasonably attributed to Hank Smith who collected a number of testimonials from Warkworth and area residents in or around the 1980's.

The Site Of The Ancient Cemetery

Mr. Pettifer showed me where the site of an old cemetery was, wherein were buried the remains of the very first settlers in this area.

It was situated in a field wherein the old map in Percy Twp., out of the 1878 Atlas of Northumberland, was called Concession 2, Lot 13. In the old map, the property was owned by Samuel Jones and J. C. Curtis. The road leading past the old Cemetery is now called 29 Highway, and is about half a mile beyond the modern Cemetery called Warkworth Cemetery.

John Weatherson told me that the settlers whose Cemetery it was, must have been the first settlers in this region. They settled here before the old 1878 Northumberland Atlas existed. They probably came here in the late 1700's and very early 1800's.

One of the old houses in the vicinity used to belong to Mr. John Brown and his wife. One of their children was Mabel Brown. This was told to me by Harry Pettifer.

Bessie Smith later told me that a Mr. Art Reycraft married Mabel Brown, and then the two of them owned the farm with the Cemetery on it. Art was rather irrational in his behaviour. He tour out all the gravestones and hauled them away. One of the gravestones was used in the barnyard.

There used to be an old barn which belonged to Mabel and Art. Some young vandals went in and set fire to the old barn.

Art Reycraft lives in Campbellford now. Add.: 6 Bridge St. W. (phone number removed)

Bessie told me that Art and Mabel lived there around about the 1930's.

When Harry Pettifer and I went up to see Mabel's old house, there was only its back part still standing. The front part had a basement under it but its upper part was demolished, leaving a big hole where the cellar was.

At about 10 feet away from the house was a lovely spring fed well, whose top was about 2 feet to water. The depth of the water is about 6 feet. The water is very clear.

The place is used as a sort of a summer camping site, and there is a good quality trailor parked near the old house where someone comes to stay in the summers.

Ewart Hardy Remembers The Old House of John Brown and His Wife and Mabel

Mr. and Mrs. Brown always attended the Methodist Church, and Mabel, their daughter did too. Mabel married Art Reycraft. I heard that after they were married, Art went ahead and got rid of all the cattle. I don't know whether he went into Jerseys or not. Anyway, he just took over, and Mr. Brown didn't like it very well. I think that it was the man who came over to test the cattle told Mr. Brown what was going on, but Mr. Brown just said to him: “You tell him something, if you can, I can't tell him anything.”

Mr. Brown didn't like the fact that Art Reycroft was just turning everything upside down. From the way Art was acting, it looked as if he could very well have torn apart the graveyard and have taken its stones away. I didn't blame Mr. Brown. It is against the Law to disturb Graveyards.

I never knew anything about the names on the Gravestones.

Whether or not Mabel actually got married in the Methodist Church or not, I don't know. It was before my time. Mabel was quite a tall woman.

Mr. Merrill said that the name of one of those that were buried in the primitive graveyard, was a Mr. Jessop.

In the Warkworth Cemetery stands a grave stone whereon is written:

John Brown - 1863-1938
his wife
Annie B. Wood - 1870-1945

The old barn that was set afire by vandals was situated on the side of Highway 29 just opposite the Brown's house. A very little of its wooden structure remains shattered on the ground. A little of its roof structure lies on the ground, and its stone and concrete walls are still visible.

Mr. Merrill showed me where the old cemetery of the first settlers was situated. To get to it, on had to go along his property's west boundary right tot he end of his fence, then turn right for a few steps at his north fence.

Not one gravestone is visible there now, but by the slightly higher lay of the little field there, one can discern its position. There is an old spring well a few feet to the west of the old graveyard about five feet away from it. At the moment the old well is full of fence-wire and old fence cedar rails and tin cans, probably to keep the cattle from falling into it.

Transcribed by John Charlton