Greenwood Cemetery, "The People's Cemetery," is home to many of Owen Sound's luminaries, from political leaders, ship captains and Victoria Cross winners to remarkable women, African Americans, athletes, pioneers and religious, business and medical leaders. It was established in 1858.
Three walking tours are outlined below.
The following information is provided for Tour 1 - a walking tour of Greenwood Cemetery.
Standing at the flag pole, walk east toward the entrance gate to the water tap.
The Carney monument is the grey stone that has been carved to look like stones. Richard Carney came to Sydenham around 1843. He built a log house on Marsh Street (2nd Ave. East) and was named "Collector" for the port in 1844. He was also appointed Justice of the Peace. As editor of an early newspaper, the Times, he was a prominent figure in the community. Elected in 1857, Carney was the first mayor of Owen Sound.
Head north one row toward the chapel and look for a simple white slab marker on your left at the end of the row next to the grass path, writing on the west side.
One of the oldest recorded burials at Greenwood is Ellen Harrison. She was the first wife of John Harrison who came to the area with his brothers and set up the flour and sawmills at the Milldam. At 20 years old, Ellen died while delivering a baby girl, Helen. Just beside this stone, across the grass path, you'll find Hannah and Robert Harrison. The couple raised Helen until her death at age 6. Robert, the brother of John Harrison, helped to quell the Fenian Raids as a member of the 31st Regiment, the local militia. Unfortunately he was ill when he returned from the assignment and died in 1866.
Looking toward the chapel, there is a large dark grey monument with an urn on top by the tree.
Mary Stephens Doyle was a remarkable woman. A member of the Disciples of Christ Church, that supported Temperance, she formed the Women's Prohibition Society in 1874. Later, this group became the Women's Christian Temperance Union. It was the first group of its kind in Canada and exerted a great deal of influence. Mrs. Doyle was President after a short time. Owen Sound voted to be dry in 1906 and was so until 1973 when the wet vote won. Mary Doyle, considered to be the "Mother of the W.C.T.U. in Canada," died at the age of 63.
Immediately to the south of the Doyle stone is Mary's brother, Alexander M. Stephens who was one of the first Europeans to arrive in this area. In the early 1840s he was a young labourer working on the Garafraxa Road, connecting Guelph to the village of Sydenham (Owen Sound). By 1842 he settled in the little village working for W.C. Boyd, a storekeeper. Stephens was Town Clerk the next year. From labourer to mayor, he was elected to this office in 1865, 1866 and 1872. Stephens wrote an early account of life here entitled The Early Days of Owen Sound. This book is available at the Owen Sound Public Library.
Directly south is William A. Stephens. He was appointed customs collector in 1851 and notary public five years later. Stephens was mayor in 1869. He advocated for Temperance and appeared before council in 1886 asking to limit the number of liquor outlets. Council agreed to consider the proposal. The following delegation were hotel owners asking for their hours to be extended.
Continuing south, next to Stephens is Samuel Oliver. Oliver was the owner of the Oliver- Rogers quarry on the east side of Owen Sound. In 1924, he and two of his employees were killed in an explosion at the quarry. Solomon Earle, a labourer, is also buried in the cemetery. Notice this marker and compare it later to Solomon Earle's.
Look straight ahead, toward the ravine, to the black Bishop stone.
The Victoria Cross is the highest award given to British and Commonwealth forces for gallantry in the face of the enemy. A unique feature of Greenwood Cemetery is that it has three Victoria Cross winners. The Canadian Legion in Owen Sound has replica medals on display.
On the west side of the black stone, marks Victoria Cross winner William Avery Bishop, known by most as Billy Bishop: WW 1 Flying Ace. Look also for the flat marker. Billy Bishop was patrolling in the early morning over France in 1917 when he saw several aircraft about to take off from an airport. He fired at two, hitting one and diverting the other. Another two aircraft approached and he fired, causing one to crash and the other to dive away. Billy Bishop's childhood home is now a museum located on 3rd Ave. West in Owen Sound. It is designated as a National Historic Site. C.B. - Companion of the Most Honourable Order of Bath; D.S.O. - Distinguished Service Order; M.C. - Military Cross; D.F.C. - Distinguished Flying Cross; E.D. - Efficiency Decoration.
The large white monument in front of the Bishop marker is for the Frost family. John Frost (1869) served as mayor of the town in 1868 and was an early magistrate. The west side of 10th Street was originally called Frost Street in his honour. His wife Mary (1903) raised 13 children and participated actively in their mercantile business. One son, John W. Frost (1908), was mayor from 1892 to 1893, served as town solicitor, and assisted with the publication of Mr. Henson's account of his journey to Canada, Broken Shackles. Alfred John Frost (1936) is reputed to have built the first gas powered automobile in Canada. Later, A.J. Frost sold Studebakers from a garage behind his house.
The second monument belongs to the Jones family. The Jones family were early settlers in the township of Derby; Samuel Ayres Jones set up a saw mill on the Pottawatomi River near Jones Falls. Many of the logs sawn there went to build the stores in downtown Owen Sound. Visit Jones Falls at the Pottawatomi Conservation Area.
Following the pathway from the chapel along the ravine, you'll see the large monuments called the Vaults. In 1859, a single lot in the cemetery cost $3, whereas a double lot cost $5. A lot with four plots cost a family $8 while the vaults cost $12 each.
Dr. Edward Horsey was elected MP in 1900 as a Liberal with the Wilfred Laurier government. While MP he introduced the Victoria Day Act which made the 24th of May a permanent public holiday. Dr. Horsey was killed in 1902 at the age of 35. While touring through the Sun Cement Works, of which he was Vice-President, the drive wheel flew off and hit him. His funeral was one of the largest ever in Owen Sound: businesses and factories closed early; the streets were lined with people; there were floral tributes from all over; and a telegram arrived from Laurier.
George Snider was the Crown Lands Agent and Sheriff for the area. The first MP in the new riding of Grey North after Confederation, he was an elected Liberal MP in 1867 sitting as the opposition for two terms. In 1873 he and his party were elected to govern under the leadership of the Hon. Alexander Mackenzie until Snider was defeated in 1878.
William Roy Esq. was one of the wealthiest men in the area. He was born in Scotland and came to Canada at a young age with his brother to start a dry goods business. Eventually he purchased Royston Park, which was a large waterfront estate on Grey Road 1, near what is now VanVugt's Nursery. Owen Sound benefited from his generosity when he donated $2000 to the construction of the General and Marine Hospital.
It is important to note that many of the large, older monuments you see in Greenwood were erected without benefit of machinery. The fact that men manoeuvred the heavy stones into place makes them all the more impressive.
William Soro Middlebro, a lawyer, served as mayor of Owen Sound in 1899 and 1900. He was elected at the age of 29. He was elected MP in 1908 to 1921. Until 1917, he sat in the opposition as a Conservative. During World War I he ran as a Unionist under the leadership of Sir Robert Borden and was named Chief Government Whip. This government also introduced the 'temporary' income tax.
J.P. Coulson arrived in Owen Sound in 1854 and began to work as a hotelkeeper at a small hotel. Business was profitable so he built a much larger hotel in the same location. The British Hotel was on the corner across from city hall. Coulson also ran an extensive stage coach business. He died at the age of 42.
The Eaton family ran a brewing company in Owen Sound. Mrs. Annie Jaffray Eaton, widowed in 1914, followed her son Jaffray to England during the Great War. She organized and financed the "Grey Rooms" in London, an area where young men from Grey County could meet, rest and dine. Mrs. Eaton, with the help of Mrs. Howey and Mrs. Horsey and several other women checked hospital lists daily, wrote letters to the wounded and arranged entertainment. When Annie Eaton died a volley was fired across her open grave and the bugler played the Last Post and Reveille. There is a memorial to her at the St. George's Church parkette at Salvation Corners.
Just beyond the vault lots, next to the ravine, is a grassy area with a few markers. This area has been referred to locally as "Pauper's Field" or the "Indigent area." It was determined in 1858 that Block F of the People's Cemetery was to be used for those who could not pay for their burial, or for "strangers" who died within the limits of the town.
In this grassy area you will find several markers. When the water reservoir on 8th St. E. was undergoing renovation in 1989, four unmarked graves were discovered. Following a brief service, these bodies were re-interred here. Find the flat marker.
The solitary marker on the far side of the field is for Sarah Boardley. Sarah died in November 1890 at the estimated age of 52 years. She had 12 children. Boardley's grandson, Wilson Woodbeck was a baritone singer who sang at Carnegie Hall and on Broadway in the 1940s.
Sarah's husband, Thomas Miller was an early settler in the area. Both of Thomas's parents were sold into slavery from Africa. He and his family were able to escape from the state of Maryland into Canada sometime around 1838. In 1851 he arrived in the Owen Sound area with four other ex-slaves. A well-respected lay preacher for the "Zion Church" and then the British Methodist Episcopal, Thomas helped to build a permanent building for the congregation on 2nd Ave. West. He died October 1911 at around 99 years old.
Also buried here is another escaped slave John 'Daddy' Hall, an early resident in Owen Sound. He lived on a tract of land referred to as the Pleasure Grounds (now Victoria Park). He participated in the War of 1812 as a scout. Daddy Hall was a popular man in the community and served as town crier for many years, announcing sales and important news twice a day. He died in 1900 and is said to have been 117 years old. A plaque with more detail about his life and photos can be found outside of Owen Sound's City Hall in Hero's Square.
Turn up the path running east - from this path you can see the Long headstone, first row and half way in facing the ravine.
Facing the road are two of three brothers who were all Captains. Captain Osburn Stephen Long captained the 'S.S. Norisle' for 21 years. When he retired in 1967 he had 46 years service with the Owen Sound Transportation Co. with time out in 1942-1946 when he was skipper-lieutenant on a minesweeper. Captain Alexander 'Sandy' Long was also a sailor all of his life.
Return to the road heading east.
Straight ahead, beside the path you can see the Fleming stone. Christopher Alexander Fleming began as a teacher but in 1881 founded the Northern Business College; he served as its principal for 56 years. Business textbooks were hard to find so he began to write his own, and purchased a printing press that operated out of the basement of his College. From this small beginning he built Fleming Publishing Co. Ltd which published the Daily Sun Times. He became President of Richardson, Bond & Wright Ltd., which is now RBW Transcontinental, a national printing company. He was also involved in radio as a director of the Grey and Bruce Broadcasting Co., Ltd. - owners of CFOS in Owen Sound.
Walking down the row, look for a low black stone.
You'll find the first female City Alderman: Annette Jean Honsinger. She was first elected in 1938 and then re-elected several times in the 1940s. During her time on council Mrs. Honsinger committed herself to the work of the welfare department and won a commendation for her service as chairperson on that committee. In 1947 she was appointed to the Board of Health. Honsinger also belonged to the Ladies of the Moose and the Women's Institute.
Continue north in this row.
Watch for the Gordon stone on your right. Here is the headstone for Private H.W. Bagnall. You'll see his military number and notice that he was in the Machine Gun Section of the 4th C.M.R. which means the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles. This Battalion was one of the most heavily decorated during WW I, including a Victoria Cross for Tommy Holmes (on tour).
Across the grass path to the west beside the water tap you'll see the Lediard marker. Miss Grace Lediard worked as a secretary at the Town Hall for successive mayors. In 1919 she was the first woman elected to the local Board of Education. She was an alderman in 1940 and again in 1942, however she resigned so that the City clerk could be released for military duty. Her most passionate work was as a volunteer for the Save the Children Fund. She was involved with the organization before there was a Canadian Chapter, working with the British group. Her house was the local headquarters, receiving clothing and supplies that she in turn shipped to Toronto.
Two rows east, walking down the row, look for the Myers and Skinner headstones on your left. They have interesting carvings showing the "Gates Ajar." As you head to the road, look for the many square pillars with an open bible on top.
In the circle, at the quiet north end of the cemetery, you'll find a large pink monument for the Scarrow family. Sarah and William resided near Keady for 30 years on a bush farm. The labour was hard and so when they retired the couple moved to town.
Captain John Wharry lies beside. He sailed the Great Lakes from the age of 12 and retired in 1920. The Captain had pilot papers from the Lakehead to Sydney Nova Scotia. As the family story goes, he picked himself a spot in the cemetery in the north so that the North Star could guide him.
Walking back along the road you'll come across the Howey stone.
Dr. Richard Howey was nick named 'Dry Doc' because of his support of the Temperance movement. During WWI he enlisted in the Medical Corps. Mrs. Howey assisted Annie Eaton with the Grey Rooms in England. The Drys and the Wets were able to work together.
On the left side of the road you'll find James E. Mitchell, a tailor in Owen Sound. Mitchell caught pneumonia and died at the age of 45. The Woodmen of the World Logo that you see on the headstone represents a fraternal society that also offered life and health insurance. The organization ensured a decent burial for all members giving a free voucher for a headstone.
Look for the small black Cameron marker on the right. On the west side of this stone is Mayor Alan S. Stewart who was born in P.E.I. He came to Owen Sound to set up a law practice in 1932. From 1935 to '37 he was an alderman on city council and then was elected mayor in 1938 for two years. During WWII he served with the Grey-Simcoe Foresters and held the rank of Major. After the war, he was appointed Judge of Grey County.
The grey cross marks Dr. Charles E. Barnhart, mayor from 1880 to 1883. In addition he was the Warden for Grey County. A medical doctor from the University of Toronto, Barnhart was a partner in the drugstore 'Barnhart & Wagstaffe' but sold it to 'Parker & Cattle' in 1862. He was also the Medical Officer of Health in Sarawak Township.
Continuing down the road and looking a couple of rows in at the grass path, you'll find the Cruickshank marker, on the west side of which lies Captain William Lance Cruickshank who spent his 50-year career on the Great Lakes. He sailed on the 'S.S. Manitoulin' and then on the ferry 'S.S. Norgoma' before becoming Captain of the 'M.S. Chi-Cheemaun.' During WWII he was with the Merchant Marine.
Two stones to the south of the Cruickshank marker is Captain Peter McKay who worked for the Canada Steamship Lines on the passenger steamers: 'Noronic,' 'Hamonic,' and the 'Huronic.' The 'Noronic' was the flagship of the Canada Steamship Lines, affectionately called the "Queen of the Inland Seas" with curving carved staircases and teak, cherry and oak walls.
On the opposite side of the road is a plain black monument for Captain Peter Telfer. His father was John Telfer, land agent, who worked with Charles Rankin, the surveyor to settle the area around Owen Sound in the 1840s.
Three rows in on the other side of the road is a black headstone marked "Witherspoon." You'll find Matthew R. Duncan written on the west side. Duncan, a merchant on the main street, kept his store open until midnight on Saturdays. He was a popular politician, starting at age 25 and often headed the polls. He was Mayor in 1905 and that year laid the cornerstone for the brick chapel at the cemetery. From 1921 until 1926 he was MP for the area as a Conservative.
Defeating Matthew Duncan in 1926 was Liberal William Pattison Telford. Continuing towards the road, his marker can be found right beside the path on the corner of the section. A lawyer, Telford was an MP with William Lyon Mackenzie King until 1930 when R.B. Bennett's Conservatives defeated the Liberals. Telford was re-elected in 1936 through WWII until 1944.
Continue walking along the road southward.
The 2nd row in from the pathway to your right is the pink Breckenridge family headstone. Robert Breckenridge was a cabinetmaker and undertaker in the early days of Owen Sound. He was a member of the 31st Regiment and helped to quell the Fenian raids. His son, Robert Andrew, was a partner in the funeral business. Their funeral home was on Main Street between 8th and 9th Streets. The Ashcroft family became a partner in the business and eventually sole owner. In 1942 the funeral home was moved to its current location which was the former home of A.J. Frost (on tour).
To the left of the Breckenridge stone, a grassy path extends westward. Walk down the grassy path toward the ravine.
On the south, about the 6th row is a marker for Captain Richard D. Simpson who sailed and survived the ill-fated 'S.S. Algoma' that wrecked on Lake Superior November 7, 1885. He worked at the Simpson Shipyard in Owen Sound and in 1904 worked for John Harrison and Sons. His father, Captain George W. Simpson sailed for 36 years and later became foreman at Simpson's Shipyard.
Right beside, you'll find a grey headstone, with writing on the west side. Laura "Maggie" Moore trained as a nurse and graduated in 1896 winning a gold medal. She nursed in private homes and then operated her own maternity hospital for over 40 years. From 1919 until 1940 the hospital was located at what is now the Highland Manor B & B at the top of West Hill. Over 2000 births are recorded as taking place under Miss Moore's care.
Almost directly in front of this stone is the Eberle monument. Robena Eberle was a member of the Baptist church. She was a prominent member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and President of the Women's Baptist Foreign Mission Society. Although it was a stormy February day, the attendance at Mrs. Eberle's funeral was large.
In the next row directly west is Private Ben Allen from the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. On the west side of the marker, is Benjamin Allen. From 1882 until 1887 Allen was MP for the riding of Grey North. He was a merchant and a member of the Liberal Party.
Beside the Allen marker to the north across the path is the stone for David Anderson Creasor, mayor of Owen Sound from 1882 until 1884. He is the only mayor to die in office. During Creasor's tenure as mayor the first telephone service began in Owen Sound in 1884 with the central office being in Parker's Drugstore. At the top of the headstone is the Mason's symbol.
Ahead to the west, look for the Manley marker. On the west side of this grey headstone is Samuel J. Lane. He was mayor in 1875 and '76, but was Reeve of Owen Sound, representing the town at County Council from 1865 until 1872. Lane was a lawyer and served as Queen's Council. In 1878 he was elected to the House of Commons as a Liberal Conservative until 1882. In his later years, Lane was appointed Judge of Grey County.
Return to the pathway and walk south.
Henry Kelso taught at Cape Croker, Stayner, Lion's Head and in Saskatchewan. When he returned he became Principal at Victoria School and then Strathcona School until 1930. He was responsible for organizing and sponsoring many of the playgrounds and skating rinks in town and was a supporter of the Greys Junior hockey team teaching many of the young players. Kelso's death remains a mystery. Although an expert sailor, he carried a guide's licence, his 30 foot cabin cruiser was found drifting off of Hope Bay. Even though the weather had been calm, Kelso was found drowned a few days later. Henry Kelso is in the City's "Sports Hall of Fame" at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre as a builder of sport. Kelso Beach Park on the west side of the bay is named in his honour.
Down the path, to the south on the Dunn stone is Captain Lauchlan MacIntyre. His early ships were the 'Forestdale,' 'Blanche Hindman,' and the 'Elmdale.' The 'Blanche Hindman' was a bulk carrier built in 1924.
Across from this, on the east is a white obelisk for Dr. Thomas Middlebro. Dr. Middlebro was a distinguished surgeon - training in Toronto, England, Austria. In 1893 he became head of the medical and surgical staff at the General and Marine Hospital and a member of the Ontario Medical Council. He was a charter member of the Kiwanis Club and worked to help underprivileged children.
Stop at the 2nd gravestone south of Dr. Middlebro. Between 1940 and 1957, Ewart John Creeper was cemetery caretaker. Before his appointment to Greenwood, he had a partnership in a hardware business. Creeper was instrumental in organizing the local Air Cadets. He was a member of an indoor baseball club and refereed hockey. He was also chairperson for the Board of Education and the Parks Board.
Turn west onto the grass path.
On the south side is what remains of an elaborate fence, which was erected by two families. There is very little information about this area.
You'll notice the tall red Moore obelisk also to the south. On the south side is Miss Catherine Moore, chief librarian at the Owen Sound Public Library. She was described as "quiet and modest" and in 1916 earned $500 a year.
Continue walking along the grass path to the paved road.
In front of you is a short pink headstone. Catherine Andrew attended the Ontario College of Art after becoming a teacher. For many summers 'Kate' travelled to Mutton Bay, Labrador, a remote-fishing village, to help the women design rugs that were sold throughout North America. She was a very active person - travelling throughout Europe and North America to paint and teach. At the age of 92 Kate had a show at the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery. She died in her 100th year.
Looking to the north, the simple little cross is the Venerable Archdeacon Mulholland. Born in Ireland, Mulholland came to Canada in the 1850s to enter the missionary field. He was ordained in Toronto by Bishop Strachan. When he asked about the limits of his diocese, he was told "to go on until he met the next man." He established an Anglican church in Derby and St. George's Church in Owen Sound. He worked here until he retired due to a failing voice in 1892. He was also chairman of the Board of Education for 25 years and a member of the horticultural society.
At the Andrew marker, continue walking west toward the ravine along the grass path.
On the right you'll see the only wooden marker at Greenwood. It is a memorial for Captain Edward Wilkes who is buried at the British cemetery of Duisans at Etrun France. He was 26 when he died.
Turn south down the row. Until you come to the grey coloured Christie marker.
David Christie (1902) was one of the old pioneers, arriving in Owen Sound in 1851 from the Orkney Islands. He started Christie's Foundry but after marrying a Corbet, he went into business with her brother George.
Walk to the grass path just one row west. Follow the path southward to the paved road.
The roadway that leads from the black wrought iron gates to the chapel was the original entrance into the cemetery. The entrance was built to accommodate horses and carriages. It was the job of the cemetery caretaker to close the gates at sunset and to open them at sunrise.
The following information is provided for Tour 2 - a walking tour of Greenwood Cemetery.
Look for the large white monument to the south of the circle.
Matthew Kennedy Sr. was the second son of William Kennedy, an early businessman in Owen Sound (also buried here). Wm. Kennedy & Sons, his father's business, which Matthew took over after his father's death, began as a small planing mill and developed into a steel foundry producing items such as large propellers and turbines on 1st Ave. West. He was an involved member of the community and was elected mayor in the 1890s.
Walking away from the chapel, about 6 rows east of the Kennedy marker, you'll find the Branston marker, 4 markers in from the road. William Branston was born a slave in Virginia but escaped to Canada. He worked on the Great Lakes as a cook and it was the 'Campana' that brought him to Owen Sound around 1855. It is recorded that William was 104 years old when he died. His first wife was Jane Branston, born in Chatham, and his second wife was Frances. They had no children.
Across from the Branston marker you'll find a larger red stone for Frederick W. Harrison. He was the son of John Harrison, the founder of John Harrison & Sons Co.- a large sawmill industry. Harrison served as mayor in 1909 and 1910. He is noted for financially supporting many community projects such as the expansion of the hospital.
West of the Harrisons you will find the McPhee marker for Captain Malcolm and his wife Emma McPhee. Capt. McPhee was on the 'S.S. Keewatin' of the CPR Great Lakes Fleet. The Keewatin, a passenger steamship, sailed from Owen Sound to Port Arthur and Fort William beginning in 1908 until the CPR removed their fleet of ships from Owen Sound to Port McNicoll in 1912. He retired in 1929 from the Keewatin after 22 years of sailing. The Keewatin is now a Maritime Museum in Douglas, Michigan.
S. S. Keewatin
Return to the path and walk east toward the gate.
Look for a pink stone named Winter. Annie Winter was the matron at the Children's Shelter in Owen Sound for many years. The shelter was at 313 2nd Ave. East.
Look to the south for a red obelisk with an urn. George Spencer (1905) and two friends walked to Guelph to get their teacher's certificates. Later, he was appointed assessor of Sydenham (the village) and was placed under arrest for contempt of court by Richard Carney (on tour) during a debate about whether the village should be assessed with Derby or Sydenham Township. Lord Elgin, governor of Canada, settled the dispute during a visit here, having the town incorporated in 1857. In 1876 Spencer was appointed police magistrate.
Two rows over to the west, Richard Notter lies beneath this short white obelisk. He was born in Ireland and came to this area at the age of 25. He ran a grocery and general store. In 1877 and '78, as mayor he oversaw the improvement of the harbour, built an armouries and a firehall. He partnered with S.J. Parker to begin the Owen Sound water works and was the director of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway. He died at the young age of 43.
West of the Notter gravestone are two large, flat markers for Reverend Colin C. Stewart and his wife. Rev. Stewart was born in Nova Scotia in 1841. He wanted to be in the ministry so he taught in order to pay for his education. He was a Hebrew and Greek scholar at McGill University and theological studies at Dalhousie University. In 1870 he was ordained by the request of the congregation at Division Street Church. Shortly after, his health began to fail and in 1874 he passed away at the age of 33.
Look for the red, square Parker gravestone to the south and over a few rows to the west. S.J. Parker was an innovator, responsible for the development of almost all of the public utilities in this City. He took over as county treasurer from his father-in-law in 1873 until he retired, when his nephew took over. Among many endeavours, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Owen Sound Water Works, the Electric Light Company, Owen Sound Telephone Company, and the Owen Sound Steamship Co. For more information see the plaque at the Market Building.
Return to the Notter headstone and then follow the grass path southward until you reach the bench by the paved road.
Near the road, by the bench in an unmarked grave is Jeremiah Cousby, who lived in the city for 71 years. Cousby, an African- American, was voted the most popular merchant in Owen Sound in a contest in 1907. He ran a sweet shop, which was the first shop to sell Coca-Cola. He was also a trustee of the B.M.E. church.
Cross over the paved road. This portion of the cemetery opened in approximately 1893. The maple trees lining the road are over 110 years old. Walk straight, along the fence line.
Near the fence is a square, black headstone, carved to look like a pile of stones. William M. Matthews was an avid cricketer and hotelman. He purchased the Queen's Hotel, which was one of the leading 'commercial houses.' After retiring, he became the land steward of Canadian Pacific Lake Steamship lines. Seeing that the Paterson House was failing, he purchased it and made it one of the most prosperous in the Dominion. When he died, the funeral cortege was 3 blocks long. Almost everybody in the hotel industry was present, and the flags at all of the hotels in town were lowered to half-mast.
Directly to the west and over 3 rows is a short, grey pillar with a rounded top. Here you'll find Thomas Gordon's marker. Gordon, 41 years old, was an engineer who was killed accidentally at the CP roundhouse. A locomotive was entering the yard when an acetylene gas generator used to light the complex exploded.
Look to the north, beside the large tree. Be sure to examine the Vernon gravestone. Alexander Vernon played an active role in the city's business affairs. He was in BC on business with the mining company that he represented when he fell ill. He was 43 when he died. His widow, MaryAnn moved to Detroit to live with her son Hunter but was buried here when she died.
The flat markers beginning just east of the tree and down the length of this section to the cottage are infant burials.
Walk north to the paved road and head toward the cottage.
On the south side, the headstone by the road is for John Harrison who, with his brothers William and Robert, ran a sawmill and gristmill by the Milldam. Upon the death of his brother Robert (on tour), William purchased all of the shares of the Harrison Mills and John purchased land by the mouth of the Pottawatomi River and began John Harrison & Sons Co. 123 carriages were in his funeral procession.
Facing the Harrison stone is Victor Inglis. He was the grandson of the original Inglis (Peter) who started the gristmill in 1845 at Inglis Falls. Victor and his father William carried on the business until 1932 when the property was sold to the city for its water rights. For more information go to the Inglis Falls Conservation Area.
Walk toward the cottage, just past the large Brown monument.
Look for the McDonald headstone to the south. Leslie McDonald spent almost three years overseas during WWI. He returned in 1919 and got a job with the Post Office. He was very active in the sporting life of Owen Sound as both a player and an executive. He belonged to the Crescent Athletic Club and was manager of the Owen Sound Greys for a couple of years. He was also an organizer of the City Hockey League. He was 47 years old when he died.
The Caretaker's Cottage is typical of the "Ontario Cottage" style of building. Portions of the Caretaker's Cottage are thought to be the oldest in the City. Mr. Samuel Flowers owned the house and land when the City purchased the cemetery. One theory is that the McDougalls, who were shipbuilders, built the house around 1848 and sold to Mr. Flowers. Another theory is that Mr. Flowers had the house built as relatives of Mr. Flowers claim.
The following information is provided for Tour 3 - a walking tour of Greenwood Cemetery.
Through the history of the cemetery until the 1990s, the Caretaker has lived in the cottage. In 1914, Herbert Treleaven was hired as Caretaker and earned $425 a year, plus free rent of the house. By 1925, the salary was $1200 plus free rent of the house and barn. In the 1990s this building was converted to a reception area and office.
Construction began on the mausoleum in 1927 and was completed in 1930. The Canadian Mausoleum Company built similar style mausoleums in Guelph, Hamilton, Stratford and Kitchener. Constructed of Indiana limestone on the outside and Italian marble in the interior, the building is a fine example of the Moderne style of architecture. Inside, the plasterwork has recently been restored to its original paint colours and detailing. The Tiffany-style stained glass windows at each end of the mausoleum are evocative of the beginning and the end - morning and evening. There are two family crypts - the Butcharts and the Harrisons.
In the north wing (to the right) lies Captain George Hindman. At an early age he worked on the steamer 'Canada' between Owen Sound and the Balmy Beach Hotel. He became Captain of the tug 'Keenan' in the 1920s. His c o m p a n y - Hindman Timber Co. purchased its first Laker in 1940- the 'George Hindman.' His business grew - becoming the Hindman Transportation Company and owning seven Lakers. He is inscribed in the Great Lakes Marine Hall of Fame.
Find Robert D. Little in the central room. Little came to Owen Sound to open up a butcher's shop with his brother. While on town council he represented the dry vote, pushing for 'Local Option.' He was mayor in 1916 and '17. Little also managed the Seldon Hotel as a temperance hotel.
Look in the south wing (to the left) for George Marron. Mayor in 1940 and '41, Marron is known as the Father of Christmas Cheer in Owen Sound. He organized the distribution of Christmas baskets and treats during the Depression years. Out of his actions grew the Annual CFOS Christmas Fund.
Exiting the mausoleum, look left. The pathway leading down the ravine out of the Cemetery with the yellow barrier is called the Nine Bends road. The road was closed to vehicular traffic in the 1990s.
Left of the Nine Bends Road, on the hill is the Independent Order of Odd Fellow's Monument for those lost in the Great War. From the late 1890s, the local Odd Fellow group held an annual 'Decoration Day.' In 1904, the 31st Regiment Band accompanied the Odd Fellows from their hall downtown to Greenwood. Also joining them were the Canadian Order of Foresters, the Sons of England and the Orange Lodge. After a short service, member's graves were tidied and flowers were laid in their memory. The three rings that you see represent friendship, love and truth. Look for this symbol throughout the cemetery.
Next to the monument is one of two Legion plots donated by the City. They provide a resting-place for veterans who can not afford to purchase a lot. Many of the veterans here are from World War I. On some of the headstones you may see "147th Grey (Overseas) Battalion." They were formed locally and sent overseas in 1916 to train. The group was disbanded in England and its personnel were used as reinforcements. Look for the "R.N.C.V.R." on one of the slabs. This acronym stands for the "Royal Navy Canadian Volunteer Reserve." During WWI they kept the shipping lanes clear in the North Sea and the English Channel.
Walk behind the Odd Fellows monument, toward the ravine.
Mayor in 1911 - 1913, Elias Lemon was the owner of the Grand Central Hotel on 3rd Ave. E. at 10th St. Elias brought Royal Swans from England, which were a gift from the King, and built a swan house on the west bank of the river opposite his home. The descendants of these royal swans still ply the Sydenham River.
To the north is a large headstone facing the ravine. John Kilbourn returned to Owen Sound in 1885, his hometown, and acted as solicitor for the Merchant's Bank. He began to acquire real estate and set up the Kilbourn Real Estate Co. Kilbourn invested in many local industries, such as the Owen Sound Cement Co., which became the Canada Cement Co. of which he was Vice-President. He was a generous supporter of the YMCA and the General and Marine Hospital. When Former U.S. President Taft came to speak, he stayed with the Kilbourns.
Just beside is Edward John Dedrick who owned one of the first radio sets in Owen Sound. Dedrick was an accountant for John Harrison & Sons Lumber Co. and was on the Board of Education.
Between the Kilbourn and Dedrick gravestones begin to walk west toward the paved path. You'll see a single grey military marker.
Tommy Holmes, Victoria Cross winner, was an original member of the 147th. He won the VC for his decisive action in October 1917 near Passchendaele, France. A pill box and machine gun fire held up his company. He ran up and threw a grenade, which put the guns out of action and then ran back, retrieved another grenade and threw it into the pillbox. 19 occupants surrendered.
If you look carefully you will find many references to Passchendaele in Greenwood Cemetery which refers to a 5-month battle at Ypres France in 1917. A battle to take ground from the German army, the soldiers endured heavy rains, extremely muddy conditions, and mustard gas attacks. Tanks were not able to pass due to the swamp-like conditions. The British and Canadian Infantry finally won the village of Passchendaele in November of that year, only after sustaining large numbers of casualties.
Follow the road north to the intersection and turns east toward the ravine. As the road bends on the left, look for a grey marker, three in from the road.
John and Margaret Thomson are the parents of one of Canada's most famous artists - Tom Thomson. The Thomson's lived in Claremont, Ontario, but after the death of John's parents, the family moved to Rose Hill Farm, outside of Owen Sound. Henrietta, Margaret's sister, joined them and later married Tom's father. The Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound has the world's third largest collection of Tom Thomson paintings and sketches. Tom is buried at the Leith Cemetery.
Follow the roadway along the ravine.
Perhaps the most unique headstone in Greenwood is the Williams stone in the bend of the path. Not a great deal is known about the family, except that Miss Florence Williams was born in Illinois and moved to Owen Sound with her parents. As an adult, Florence moved to Ohio and worked for a telephone company. The Woodsmen of the World have similar headstones for their members, however they are usually marked with their emblem. It is unknown if this marker is one of those.
Two rows in from the path, look for the black Orford stone that marks Charles Edgar who was killed in action at the battle of Passchendaele. He was a carriage painter with a Mr. Ferguson before he enlisted with the 147th Battalion. He had been in France for 5 months before he was killed.
Next to the path is Herbert Treleaven, cemetery caretaker from around 1914 until 1940.
Right beside is Edgar M. McQuay, the owner of a large tannery that was located where the Bayshore Community Centre is now standing. He was mayor in 1934 and 1935.
Two rows in, locate the white Harrison monument. Rebecca Pratt Harrison served as liaison officer between the Red Cross POW and their next of kin during the 2nd World War. She was also the past regent of the Earl Grey Chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire.
Beside the path is Mary Esther McGregor, better known as Marian Keith. Published by McClelland and Stewart Ltd., she wrote many books that are similar in style to Lucy Maud Montgomery's. Born in Orillia, she came to the Owen Sound area with her husband, who was a Presbyterian Minister. She has three books that take place around the former Sydenham township area - As a Watered Garden, Yonder Shining Light and Lilacs in the DoorYard.
Look for a black marker two rows in with two shrubs beside it. John McQuaker was a prosperous downtown merchant, running a general store and housing the office for the Owen Sound Creamery. He was mayor in 1914 and 1915. During his tenure as mayor he founded the Associated Charities to co-ordinate the work of the charitable groups in town. He also began a youth athletic club and was elected to the YMCA Board of Ontario.
The last stone at the corner marks, Thomas Inkermann Thomson who was mayor in 1897 - 98. He was a great businessman, serving as President of the Imperial Cement Company, and the Farrar Transportation Co. (a steamship company). After Dr. Horsey (on tour) died in 1902, he won the federal by-election for the Conservatives, but was defeated in the general election in 1904. When Sheriff Moore passed away, T.I. was named Sheriff of the County of Grey. He was known for his strong public speaking skills and his great love of literature.
On the west side of the same stone is T.W. Thomson, the son of Thomas Inkermann Thomson. T.W. was also mayor of Owen Sound, in 1930, '32, and '33.
Turning west, follow the paved path and look to the north. Notice the cube shaped marker for the Capel family. This is another unique marker in Greenwood Cemetery.
Returning to the road, look on the south side for two large grey markers, side by side for the Christie family.
Like the Thomsons, here are another father and son who were both mayors. Side by side are two Christie grave markers. William James Christie had 23 years experience on council before he was elected mayor in 1924 - 25. He was President of the Temperance Workers of North Grey. He owned a hardware business with his brother but sold his interest in 1903 to start a factory making stoves and furnaces - the Empire Stove Company. William's son, David A. Christie was also mayor. He led the City from 1930 until 1933.
Return to the paved road and continue walking west.
Beside the roadway on the north is the white-coloured McDonald marker. Flight Officer Lorne Albert McDonald was killed during the Second World War. He was 19 when he was flying his Lancaster aircraft over Chemnitz Germany. He didn't return from his night flight.
At the intersection, look at the 5th stone south, marked "Owen" on the west side of the intersection. On the west side of the marker is "Patterson."
Owen Sound became a City in 1920, while Roland Patterson was mayor. Patterson was also an MPP for Grey North for 11 years, being first elected in 1935. He was Deputy Speaker of the Legislature for 6 of those years. He set up a real estate and insurance business after attending one term at the Northern Business College.
Return to the intersection and go north to the last crossroad. Turn west.
The section of the cemetery to your right was formerly King's Nursery. Mr. King had a market garden with a small orchard on this property. At one time there were several market gardens along the top of the hill towards Moore's Hill. This section of the cemetery was opened in 1953. To your right is the newest section of Greenwood, which was opened in 1995.
Walking west to the 6th row, look at the fourth stone in. Here is the third Victoria Cross winner at Greenwood Cemetery: David Vivian Currie. During the Battle of Falaise in Normandy, Major Currie was in command of a small group of tanks, infantry and anti-tank guns. He was ordered to cut off one of the enemy's escape routes. For 36 hours he and his men held off many enemy attacks. In the end, his group endured heavy casualties but was able to close the escape route. After the war, Prime Minister Diefenbaker appointed Currie Sergeant-At-Arms in the House of Commons. He died in 1986 with a full military funeral.
Return to the road and continue west. About halfway into this section, at the Waller stone on the left, turn onto the grass path to the south.
On your right, look for two gravestones that resemble temples. They are in the same row, but not side by side. The first marker is for Yee Sit. He owned the Ritz Café until his brother purchased it from him. Keep walking until you arrive at the second Sit monument.
This unique-looking headstone is the marker for Gim Woo Sit. He was born in China in 1893. He operated a restaurant in Meaford for a while and then moved to Owen Sound to work at the Ritz Café on 10th Street in Owen Sound, owned by his brother Yee. He and his wife along with his son later purchased the restaurant.
At the Gim Woo Sit marker, walk westward past 4 rows of headstones. Look for a red granite marker between two shrubs to the south.
Lloyd Kibbler, on the west side of the marker, was the bandleader of the Lloyd Kibbler Orchestra, a 12-piece orchestra, playing in dance halls to hundreds in the 1930s and 40s. An accomplished saxophonist, he played with the Guy Lombardo band until it moved to the United States. In 1936 he moved to Owen Sound and managed the Imperial Optical Company. Kibbler and his wife rented, ran and played at the Balmy Beach Dance Pavilion during the summers.
Facing Kibbler, is MacKinnon Phillips, one of the few elected officials from this area to have held a cabinet position. When the Conservatives nominated Phillips to run in a provincial election he stated that it was against his better judgement because there was a doctor shortage in the area. But he was persuaded to so, and in 1945 was elected to the Legislature. He was Minister of Health from 1950 until 1958 when he was appointed Provincial Secretary. He had three main concerns - the shortage of nurses and hospital facilities and mental health care. Phillips was the first in Ontario to change mental health institutions from jail-like settings to more home-like settings.
Walk south until you reach the paved road. Then head east toward the ravine. Just before the McGregor stone, turn south and walk in until you find the Lumley headstone on your right.
A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Harry Lumley began his career as a professional goaltender at the age of 17. Nicknamed "Apple Cheeks," Lumley was born in Owen Sound and played for the Barrie Colts as a teen. When he was 15, he was signed by the Detroit Red Wings. He helped to win the Stanley Cup for Detroit in 1950 with three shutouts in the playoffs. In 1954 he won the Vezina trophy for the League's Most Outstanding Goalie. Lumley was selected to be on the NHL's first All-Star team. Harry Lumley is also in the Owen Sound Sports Hall of Fame found at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre.
Turn east toward the ravine and head to the Legion plot. It is in the centre of the section near the 2 trees.
This is the Legion's second plot. Look for these: C.E.F. - which means Canadian Expeditionary Force; C.W.A.C. - Canadian Women's Army Corp; R.C.A.S.C. - Royal Canadian Army Service Corp; C.M.G.C. - Canadian Machine Gun Corp.
Just north of the Legion Plot you will find William Henry Harrison, one of Owen Sound's prominent black businessmen. He was two years old when he moved to Owen Sound with his family, from Washington D.C. He began working at the Oliver-Rogers Co. Stone Quarry as a foreman, and then bought his own quarry. Many of the churches in town used the stone from his quarry as well as many buildings downtown.
Look for a white stone that is in the 2nd row east of the Legion Plot. On the west side of the headstone is marked "Graham." On the east side of the gravestone is Washington Williams, who was a member of the Salvation Army. He worked for John Harrison & Sons and was a member of the Orange Order and the Black Knights. Earl Williams, son of Washington was a charter member of the Crescent Club. He apprenticed at Buzza Brothers for watch making. Sergeant Fred Williams was killed at the age of 50, in action in France with the 20th Battalion (Central Ontario Regiment). He had been in France for 2 years and earned a military medal for his effort.
Many of the trees and plantings that you see in this section of the cemetery were planted in 1942.
Greenwood is known as a traditional cemetery meaning that all are buried with their feet pointing east. Traditionally this means that on judgement day, all will be facing the Promise Land. A story is told that an Anglican Minister buried in Greenwood Cemetery requested that he be buried in the opposite direction so that he could face his congregation.
Walking south along the grassy path, look for a small, white headstone to the east. It is the 7th stone in from the paved road.
This little marker is for Solomon Earll, the labourer who was killed in an explosion at the Oliver-Rogers Stone Quarry on the east side of Owen Sound. His monument is quite a bit smaller than Samuel Oliver's, owner of the quarry.
Walk south directly across the paved road and into the next section about ½ way in and look to your right.
Eddie Sargent was Mayor of Owen Sound several times between 1947 and 1965. He was also elected as a Liberal for 6 terms to the Ontario Legislature starting in 1963 until 1987 when he retired. He was a very outspoken member of the legislature, speaking forcibly on subjects that were close to his or his constituents' hearts. He was ejected several times for his outspokenness from Queen's Park.
Continue to walk south to the flat marker section of the cemetery. Directly behind the Mausoleum, in the 5th row, find Tom Williams.
Tom Williams volunteered for the City of Owen Sound for over 50 years. He was passionate about the City's recreational facilities and waterfront striving to improve them. He is also responsible for the Kelso Park Amphitheatre, which is used for many community events including the Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival. A City park is named for him.
The Sundial that you see in the distance memorializes all those without a marker at Greenwood. Howard Henderson, cemetery caretaker from 1957 until 1989, arranged for the placement of the Sundial in the Memorial Gardens.
Walk south to the paved path, turn east back toward the Mausoleum.
The Columbarium Garden is the newest part of Greenwood Cemetery. There are plans to expand this area.
In April 1858, Charles Rankin, land surveyor, submitted to town council a plan for the new layout of a public cemetery, which would occupy approximately 5 acres of land. Rankin's plan divided the land into 27 blocks, each containing 64 lots, all being 8 feet square. He provided space for "Vault" lots along the ravine and designed a circular area as well as rectangular areas within the blocks. While walking through this section, the original grassy pathways remain. A picket fence surrounded the graveyard.
The town's first cemetery, Chalmer's Cemetery, at the top of Union Street Hill, (8th Street East) was developed earlier, however it was often waterlogged due to the abundance of clay in the soil. Four acres of the ten were in use as a burying ground prior to 1858. Today the land is used as a water reservoir. The remaining graves were removed to various cemeteries in the area.
The new cemetery needed a name. "Mount Pleasant" was suggested since it overlooked the valley. However, in the end "The People's Cemetery" was chosen because it was purchased using the people's money. The village council was allowed to borrow up to $4000 dollars in order to purchase the cemetery land from Mr. Samuel Flowers.
The red brick Chapel was built in 1905. Up until this time, mourners were required to brave the elements while an outdoor service took place. Calls for a small chapel and a receiving vault at Greenwood were made in the local newspapers. In 1906 services began to take place in the "ornate and comfortable" chapel and in the winter the casket was lowered down into the vault through a hole in the floor until spring interment.