"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Friday, June 28, 2013

Official Opening of the Poor House Cemetery at the Wellington County Museum

ABOYNE, Ontario – June 28, 2013 - The Wellington County Museum and Archives (WCMA) has officially opened the Poor House Cemetery Exhibit. This outdoor exhibit explores the stories of the men, women and children that lived and died at the County of Wellington’s House of Industry and Refuge.

One hundred and thirty-six years after the Poorhouse burial ground received its first burial (1877), the Cemetery officially opened as an interpretive site and outdoor exhibit of the Wellington County Museum and Archives. It is here that 271 men, woman and children who lived and died at the Poorhouse between 1877 and 1946 are being honoured.

“Wellington County is very proud of this exhibit. WCMA staff have restored this important burial place to its original state and have created a wonderful spot for patrons to visit and quietly reflect,” said Warden Chris White. “I encourage residents to visit this exhibit. It’s a very important part of our local history.”

A staircase leads down into the site from the Cataract Trailway, and a stone gravel path winds through the cemetery to the Cairn where the names of those buried have been listed on new panels. QR codes have been used to link people to more information on those buried at the Cemetery and benches invite people to sit and reflect.

“I’d like to thank everyone who helped get this exhibit ready to open today,” commented Janice Hindley, WCMA Administrator. “This project has been a labour of love for the WCMA staff. It’s important to honour the people buried here and share their stories.”

Goals of the Cemetery Exhibit:

...Restore the overgrown, neglected site to a proper Cemetery
...Honour those buried here and tell their stories
...Create a natural, peaceful place where people can reflect on this important story in Wellington County’s social history

The Wellington County Museum and Archives, located on Wellington Road #18 between Fergus and Elora.

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