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Tombstone TalesTombstone Tales from Ontario Cemeteries

By Harvey Medland

Bound within these pages are characters from Ontario’s past including:

> The Queen of Romania’s Woodstock lover
> The mother who silenced a fire’s roar with a fairy tale
> A kindly ghost from Algonquin Park
> A tiger hunter in the wilds of Guelph
> The reverend who challenged the mob at Chatham’s Exchange
> The Tolpuddle Five who did Tasmanian time
> A miner whose exit from the barber’s chair was “Highlight of the Month”

FORMAT: Digital Download (PDF – scanned from original)

PUBLISHER: The Ontario Historical Society

YEAR: 2000

ISBN: 0919352332

PAGES: 236 (Note: Any blank pages have been deliberately omitted.)

View sample of ebook (opens a PDF)


In the Beginning

Southwestern Ontario

Map of Southwestern Ontario

Thomas Talbot: “Set on the Dogs!”

Simon Girty: The “White Savage”

Frank Akeroyd: The Northern Indiana Disaster

Reverend William King: The Friend of the Slave

The Tolpuddle Martyrs: To Canada Incognito

The Donnelly Massacre: Violence and Vigilantes

The Victoria Disaster: Many Shared the Blame

South-Central Ontario

Map of South-Central Ontario

Pennsylvania German Migration: Perils on the Trail

“Trees of Life”: The Blacksmith’s Creation

The Elders: Sweet “116”

The Crosshill Cryptogram: A Puzzle Solved

William Winer Cooke: Custer’s Executioner

The Asia: A Struggle for Survival

Mary Robbins: “Brutally Murdered?”

Joseph Boyle: King of the Klondike and Saviour of Romania

George Muir Hendrie: Sporting Son

Millicent Milroy: A Duke’s Secret

Niagara Peninsula

Map of the Niagara Peninsula

William Hamilton Merritt: From “Ditch” to Canal

McArthur & McArthur: Lock 6 Disaster

Samuel Zimmerman: The Incredible Con

Reverent Anthony Burns: Cause of Boston Slave Riots

Central Ontario

Map of Central Ontario

Matthias Sanders: The Battle of York

John Ridout vs. Samuel Jarvis: Killed by a “Blight”

Keturah Howell: Work of Love

David Williams: The Homesteader’s Hazard

Cholera: Blame “the English”

The Murder of Robert Moodie: “The Mackenzie Rebellion”

Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews: Hanged for a Cause

The Unheralded Mothers: Sixty-one Grandchildren

Mary Thomson: Home in the Bush

Matthew Hancock: “Carried the King’s Colours”

The Fenian Raids: Birth of Canadian Patriotism

The Humber Railway Disaster: “I Forgot”

Alice Eastwood: Curator of Botany

John Bowser: The Empire State Building

East-Central Ontario

Map of East-Central Ontario

The Moore Family Feud: Napanee Rivalry

Riel Rebellion: The Insubordinate Williams

Joseph Scriven: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

Samuel Greene and John McGann: Fingerspelling

Eliza Grimason: Prime Minister’s Friend

Thomas MacLeod: Antarctic Adventures

Eastern Ontario

Map of Eastern Ontario

Scottish Migration: “MacCanada”

Wilson vs. Lyon: Ontario’s Last Duel

John and Sophia Cameron: Identification Crisis

McGuigan Cemetery Restoration: Rideau Canal Malaria Victims

Mahlon Locke: “Toe Twister”

West-Central Ontario

Map of West-Central Ontario

William “Tiger” Dunlop: The Brilliant Buffoon

The Stranger: “Murdered!”

Morden and Granger Families: The Nipissing Road Epidemic

Emile Huard: Logger Burial Tradition

Priceville Reclamation: Black Cemetery Recognized

Northern Ontario

Map of Northern Ontario

Susan: Decline of the “Country Wife”

Dr. Hume and Colonel Prince: Pirates!

Morris Perkus: Unfortunate Russians

Walter Walsh: Reading Camp Mishap

The Great Forest Fires Porcupine Fire: Even “Big Bob”

Matheson Fire: No Matter What the Consequences

The Great Fire of 1922: Trolleys to the Rescue



About the Author

As published:

Harvey Medland was a teacher and counsellor at Toronto’s Jarvis Collegiate for 31 years. To celebrate the school’s 175th anniversary he wrote Minerva’s Diary, a History of Jarvis Collegiate Institute.

His 25-year interest in gravestones has taken him to cemeteries from Newfoundland to the Yukon and as far north as Resolute. The Ontario Historical Society first saw his slide show presentation, “Tombstone Tales,” when he was invited to be a speaker at the workshop, “The Heritage of Ontario Cemeteries,” in 1990. He has continued to be a speaker at that workshop series and has been a volunteer with the organizer since that time. In addition he has photographed several of the markers appearing in this book.

The author’s photographs have appeared in Seasons magazine as well as Ontario, a Loving Look and Canadian Book of the Road. An avid bird watcher, he has sighted nearly 4,000 species on six continents.