Friday 3 November 2017

St Eleanor's

St John’s Anglican Church has stood on this site since 1842, in what used to be the village of St Eleanor’s.  This wooden framed structure is in the Gothic Revival style.  We had driven past it on a number of occasions and I was curious for a closer look, so we stopped and walked round the graveyard.

I’m always fascinated by headstones as I think that they tell us a lot about the people who lived in a place and their history.  Little Sophia died aged 7 months in July 1872.  There are a lot of children’s graves in this cemetery, many of whom died in infancy.

We discovered that many of the graves belonged to families who were United Empire Loyalists, who moved to what were then known as the Colonies (and loyal to the Crown) during the American Revolution.

The lych gate in front of the church is a later addition (built in 1967).

Another child’s headstone.  Many of them date from around the same time and I wondered if there had been some illness which had caused their lives to be cut short, but there was no indication of this on the inscription.

In researching the history of this church,  I discovered that there has been a church on this site since 1825.  The original church was destroyed by fire in 1835.   To this day, many of the rural churches are of wood construction, as their congregations did not have the money for more elaborate buildings. 

The grave of William Henry Pope lies at the eastern side of the cemetery.  A path leads to this plaque, which was laid by the Canadian government, to mark his grave.  William Henry Pope was one of the Fathers of Confederation: he campaigned for Prince Edward Island become part of the Canadian Union, which was accomplished in July 1873.  Other former colonies and territories joined the Union on 1st July, 1867 to form the Dominion of Canada.

This is his headstone.

He is buried with other family members.

This plaque is in the lych gate and marks the Centennial of Confederation, which was in 1967.  This year is the sesquicentennial, which has been widely celebrated across Canada.

The church was not accessible, so we haven't seen inside, however, there are some interior views here.


  1. What a LOVELY little church... and so rich it's history! I have a fondness for visiting churches... so much different architecture, history, etc. :) ((HUGS))

  2. How interesting! I had no idea that there were a group of Crown Loyalists who fled to Prince Edward Island to escape the American War of Independence, but it totally makes sense that they would go there. I share your enthusiasm for old grave yards. I think they're amazing places. It's curious that so many children should have died there at the age of 7 or 8. Maybe there was a virulent outbreak of measles, which spread like wildfire through the school house.

    1. Lots of United Empire Loyalists fled the United States and settled in Canada. I have no idea why there are so many children's graves, but the same thought occurred to me - that it was likely an outbreak of disease which caused them to die so young. Marie x