SUMMERSTOWN, Ontario – The first non-indigenous settlers to this area, the United Empire Loyalists, arrived in 1784. As they began to clear land, build log houses and farms; their first need as a community was for a church and a burial ground.
From about 1787, Rev. John Bethune began to minister to the Summerstown settlers, and in 1804 Loyalist James Clark conveyed one acre of land by Deed to Rev. Bethune for use as a community cemetery and to provide a site for a church. In fact, the cemetery had been in use for years before that, and the church has been a site for worship and a hub of community activity since.
Over the years, the stone wall surrounding the original cemetery has slowly deteriorated. It is a familiar feature of the Cemetery. It is not meant to prevent visitors from entering to pay their respects to those buried there, but, rather, it is designed to serve as the symbolic guardian of a sacred space.
The Cemetery Committee responsible for this community cemetery has decided to maintain the walls and has hired a local stonemason, Michael Bettany to restore the east wall first. The work began in late spring 2022 with completion of Phase 1 by year end.
“This is a two-year project” explained Walter MacLean, Committee chair. “We are presently fundraising to fund the substantial cost of the repairs to all three stone walls and the repair of many historic markers on the cemetery grounds.”
If you can provide much-appreciated financial support for this project and for the ongoing maintenance of Summerstown’s historic Salem United Church Community Cemetery, please make your cheque payable to Salem United Church Cemetery Association.
A tax receipt will be issued. For additional information, please contact Walter MacLean at 613-933-3931 or via email: email@example.com