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Notice- Intention to Designate Bethel Union Pioneer Cemetery

posted Feb 29, 2016, 7:28 AM by Tim Hendry   [ updated Feb 29, 2016, 7:29 AM ]
Notice- Intention to Designate Bethel Union Pioneer Cemetery 

TAKE NOTICE that the Council of the Corporation of the Township of Clearview on October 26th, 2015 passed a resolution of intent to designate CON 6 N PT LOT 17 WSR, municipally known as 2249 CREEMORE AVENUE and known as the Bethel Union Pioneer Cemetery, as it is of cultural heritage and historical value or interest. 

Statement of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest 

The Bethel Union Pioneer Cemetery is situated on a remote 2.72 acre plot of land that was once part of a 200 acre parcel of Crown Land. It is an extension of the SilverShoe Burial Ground located to the north of the present day site and is the last vestige of the culturally unique and once vibrant community known as the Silver Shoe Settlement. It is perhaps the only totally inter-racial, multicultural, non-denominational cemetery established during the period of history when only individuals of Anglo-European heritage were permitted burial within the boundaries of Caucasian sanctified cemeteries in the Province of Ontario. 

The original cemetery “The Sunnidale Union Cemetery” was established by resolution of Sunnidale Township Council on August 6, 1885. The land was purchased from James Mather for the sum of $68 and duly registered on January 18, 1886 under the legal name of Sunnidale Union Public Cemetery. The earliest recorded burials in this section of the cemetery were Susan Johnson (1880), Bella Lawrence (1881), and Keneda Lawrence (1881). 

The name Bethel Union Pioneer Cemetery was applied to the site by the SilverShoe Historical Society at the time of the 1997 Restoration Initiative to avoid public confusion with the nearby Sunnidale Pioneer Cemetery (aka Old Zion Presbyterian Cemetery) on Highway 26.  

It is estimated that approximately 500 – 1000 burials have taken place at the Bethel Union Pioneer Cemetery with an equal unsubstantiated number interred north of the present day site, in the pre-rebellion Silver Shoe Burial Ground. 

The Bethel Union Pioneer Cemetery is the largest of all the inactive cemeteries within the jurisdiction of Clearview Township and now stands as a shining example of dedicated community involvement and as a template for all inactive cemeteries through the Province of Ontario. 

NOTICE of an objection to the designation may be served on the Township Clerk, Pamela Fettes at the Township of Clearview, 217 Gideon Street, P.O Box 200, Stayner Ontario, L0M 1S0, within 30 days of March 4, 2016, setting out the reasons for the objection and all relevant facts. 

For further information respecting the proposed designation, contact:

Brenda Falls, Deputy Clerk, Township of Clearview
P.O. Box 200, 217 Gideon Street, Stayner, ON, L0M 1S0
Phone: (705) 428-6230 ext. 224