Located east of 16 West Street south of Lakeshore Road, Bronte Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Oakville and the final resting place of some of Bronte's first African American settlers. Philip Sovereign, one of the earliest Oakville settlers, deeded the east corner of his farm for a cemetery, specifying it be for people of "all orders, sects, nations and parties."
Other early names that appear in the cemetery are Adams, Butler, Lucas, MacDonald, McWane, Osborne, Ribble, Triller and Williams. Almost a third of the headstones in Bronte Cemetery belong to children and many others to mariners.
The Lake Ontario gales that took the lives of Bronte mariners also claimed the bones of some of their families. Over the years, about 70 feet of cemetery land and 100 feet of road allowance have been subsumed by the lake.
Located on the southwest corner of 2363 North Service Road in a clearing ringed by mature trees between the QEW and the North Service Road east of Bronte Road, Merton/Mount Pleasant Cemetery was established in 1880 on the grounds of Mount Pleasant Church. The church and cemetery were built to serve the Methodist-Episcopal community of Merton, a hamlet that settled in 1812 and became the centre for harvesting the abundant supply of pine trees in the surrounding area.
Names that appear in the Merton/Mount Pleasant Cemetery include Luscombe, Joyce, Douglas, Speers, MacDonald, Patterson, Oakley and Carpenter. The earliest headstone is for Milo Secord who passed away in 1888 at only eight days old.
In 1927, Mount Pleasant Church was deconsecrated and offered for auction. Out of respect for the people interred, it was decided that the cemetery would not be sold and would remain undisturbed. The church was eventually demolished and its materials were carried away for use in other buildings. The only remaining trace of the church today is its date stone at the present day cemetery.
Munn's Cemetery is located at 2579 Sixth Line, on the southeast corner of Sixth Line and Dundas Street. It was established in 1820 on land that was originally owned by Daniel Munn. A 1953 newspaper article about the cemetery cites Daniel Munn's headstone as being the oldest in the cemetery. Unfortunately the headstone has been lost or so badly eroded that the location of the grave is not known. It is believed that Daniel Munn lies nearby his wife Millicent, who is also buried in Munn's Cemetery.
The earliest settlers of Trafalgar Township built community schools and churches. Daniel Munn, who owned the land around Sixth Line and Dundas Street that eventually became the hamlet of Munn's Corners, built a log cabin school on his property which doubled as a church on Sundays. Around 1820, Daniel Munn responded to the need for a cemetery by selling a small plot of his land for a moderate price to a group of local yeomen who were responsible for the establishment of what we now know as Munn's Cemetery.
Many of Trafalgar Township's earliest families' names can been seen in Munn's Cemetery, including Appelbe, Snider, Featherstone, Post, Freeman, Coyne and Bowbeer.
During World War I it became increasingly difficult to find people willing to care for the cemetery. It was overgrown and neglected until the late 1950s when the local population recognized the cemetery's importance as a historical site and extensive restoration was undertaken. Today, Munn's Cemetery is operated by the Town of Oakville.
The Oakville/St. Mary's Cemetery is located south of 659 Lyons Lane. The land for the cemetery was donated in 1858 by the first mayor of Oakville, George K. Chisholm.
Chisholm suggested the old cemetery on Reynolds Street, north of Palmer Avenue, be moved to the new town cemetery to make way for a public school. The removal of remains from the old cemetery began immediately, though the task was not completed for more than 20 years. In 1881, the last 16 bodies were disinterred from the old cemetery and moved to the Oakville/St. Mary's Cemetery, creating considerable interest among the residents at the time.
The founder of Oakville, Colonel William Chisholm, and members of his family are buried in Oakville/St. Mary's Cemetery.
Burials in existing plots in Oakville/St. Mary's cemetery are still being carried out today, though no new plots are being sold.
Located at Dundas Street and Bronte Road, Palermo Cemetery was operated for most of its existence by the Palermo United Church in the small village of Palermo, a stagecoach stop between Toronto and Hamilton.
Familiar names that appear in Palermo Cemetery include Cudmore, Pell, Tovell, Inglehart, Fox, Sargant, Van Sickle, Hager, Dorland, Joyce, Gilbert and Secord.
The Town of Oakville assumed the operation and maintenance of the cemetery in 1990.
Located between 143 and 147 Wedgewood Drive and established in 1833, the historic Wedgewood (Cox Estate) Cemetery is the resting place of early settlers of Trafalgar Township, including many children.
The absence of modern medicine in the 19th century caused a large number of children to die at an early age. In 1847 the current burial ground was recognized and preserved from future transactions.
In 1909, after a series of different owners, the property surrounding the burial ground was purchased by Herbert Coplin Cox, president and later chairman of the board of the Canada Life Assurance Company, for his lakeshore estate. The cemetery has since been known as the Wedgewood (Cox Estate) Pioneer Cemetery.
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