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Melville United Church Cemetery

2036 Gulf Shore Road; RR #2, Pugwash, Nova Scotia, B0M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/06/05

Cemetery in winter, Melville United Church Cemetery, Gulf Shore, NS, 2009.; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2009
Winter View
1975 view of the Melville United Church that was once located on the same site of the cemetery, Pugwash, NS.; North Cumberland Historical Society, 1975
Melville United Church
Munro headstone detail, Melville United Church Cemetery, Gulf Shore, NS, 2009.; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2009
Munro Headstone

Other Name(s)

Melville United Church Cemetery
Cemetery and Former Site of Melville Church

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1854/01/01 to 1854/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Melville United Church Cemetery is on a rural road that follows the Gulf Shore on the outskirts of Pugwash, Nova Scotia, and is backed by the Northumberland Strait. It has only one headstone, which marks the three graves of the Reverend John Munro, his wife, Margaret, and her niece. The lone marble marker and a broken sandstone slab at its foot are encircled by a metal fence draped with a single-chain. They stand by a row of evergreens on the left side of the flat, vacant lot where the Melville United Church stood for over one-hundred and forty years. The municipal designation includes the property and the grave site.

Heritage Value

The value of the Melville United Church Cemetery lies in its association with the Reverend John Munro, a prominent Nova Scotia church leader of the mid-nineteenth century. Munro arrived in Nova Scotia from Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1848, and began his ministry in the Gulf Shore and Wallace area of Cumberland County. He preached throughout New England and Ontario to raise money to build churches in this rural Cumberland County district, and through his efforts, four modest Protestant churches were erected, the others being in Pugwash, Malagash Mines and Wallace. The churches were built as a Free Church of Scotland, and this Gulf Shore church was named by Munro for the Reverend Andrew Melville, who was a follower of John Knox, the leader of the Church of Scotland. In 1925 the congregation voted to join the United Church of Canada when the Council of Union Churches joined with other Canadian Methodists, Congregationalists and Presbyterian churches forming the United Church of Canada. The Melville Church, which was torn down in the late 1990s, was used by Munro as his base. Rev. Munro, his wife, Margaret Arnot Boyack, and her niece are the only known occupants of the cemetery.

Source: “Heritage Properties County, Melville United Church Cemetery” File, Cumberland County Museum

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Melville United Church Cemetery include:

- original site;
- single, pillar marker of pink marble topped with carved urn;
- sandstone slab at foot of marker;
- metal post-and-chain fence surround marker and slab;
- metal post-and-chain fence set off lot from road edge.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

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

"Heritage Property County, Melville United Church Cemetery" File, Cumberland County Museum and Archives, 150 Church St, amherst, NS B4H 3C4

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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