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Cape Wolfe Pioneer Roman Catholic Cemetery

Route 14, Cape Wolfe, Prince Edward Island, C0B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/12/09

Showing cemetery amid trees and brambles; PEI Genealogical Society, 2006
Showing cemetery amid trees and brambles
Tombstone of Robert Howard; PEI Genealogical Society, 2006
Tombstone of Robert Howard
Showing location of cemetery on Reilly property; Meacham's Illustrated Historical Atlas of PEI, 1880
Showing location of cemetery on Reilly property

Other Name(s)

Cape Wolfe Pioneer Roman Catholic Cemetery
The Pat Reilly Cemetery

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Located on the western side of Route 14 in Cape Wolfe in Prince County, this early pioneer cemetery lies unmarked behind a house about 120 metres from the highway. The registration includes the entire cemetery.

Heritage Value

The cemetery is valued for its historical association with the early Irish settlers to the area.

The site currently contains only two visible grave markers, that of Robert Howard is a traditional standing tombstone with a clear inscription. The other is a Celtic style iron cross which stands anonymous among many brambles. Other unmarked graves are also believed to be on the site.

Robert Howard first arrived in Bedeque, PEI, in 1818 and like other Irish immigrants, worked for a time in the shipyard of the Hon. Joseph Pope. Around 1823, several of these families moved to Lot 7 on the western side of Prince Edward Island. The terrain and seascape of this area is said to resemble that of Ireland.

Howard was married to Bridget Reilly and they would have three sons. The local name of Howard's Cove originates from this family. Bridget's brothers Patrick and Garret had come from County Kerry. Both brothers settled their farms in September 1827. The cemetery is located on land once owned by the Reilly family.

Patrick Reilly is mentioned in a traditional folk song by Larry Gorman. He is thought to be interred here and locally the cemetery is known as the "Pat Reilly Cemetery". It remained in use until the consecration of St. Mark's Roman Catholic Cemetery around 1879. This is located further north up the coast at Burton.

The site remains an important link to the early Irish settlement of the area and is a valuable cultural resource.

Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/P15

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the cemetery is shown in the following character-defining elements:

- the location of the cemetery near the coast overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence amid a cluster of trees and brambles
- the variety and styles of the remaining headstones
- the potential unmarked graves on the site



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Registered Historic Place

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4310-20/P15

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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