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Flat River Pioneer Cemetery

Beaton Lane, Flat River, Prince Edward Island, C0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/03/09

Overview of cemetery with sign; PEI Genealogical Society, 2008
Overview of cemetery with sign
Showing variety of stone types and sizes; PEI Genealogical Society, 2008
Showing variety of stone types and sizes
Detail of obelisk stone; PEI Genealogical Society, 2008
Detail of obelisk stone

Other Name(s)

Flat River Pioneer Cemetery
Beaton's Cemetery

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1825/01/01 to 1829/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/05/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Located in a grassed area with a backdrop of trees near the shore on Beaton Lane off the Pioneer Cemetery Road in Flat River, this early cemetery has a traditional association with the Beaton family who were part of the migration of Selkirk settlers from Scotland. The site contains several stone and marble headstones of various shapes and sizes, including one which is shaped like an obelisk.

Heritage Value

This cemetery is valued for its association with the Selkirk settlers to the area and for the variety and style of the remaining headstones.

The land associated with this cemetery was part of a 250 acre parcel obtained in 1806 by Angus Beaton from the Earl of Selkirk. Angus Beaton (1728-1825 - 1829) and his wife Margaret MacPhee (1733-1837) had a family of seven sons. Angus is believed to have been the first burial in this cemetery. His grandson, Malcolm Beaton (1799-1877) has one of the largest remaining stones in the cemetery. It is shaped like an obelisk and indicates in the inscription that he had emigrated from the Isle of Skye in 1803. This means that Angus brought over his extended family when he arrived that year on the Polly as part of the Selkirk migration.

A news item from the 1879 Examiner newspaper mentioned the site and complained about the "careless way it is tended". It indicated, however, that the first interment was that of Roderick MacKenzie. It is believed the cemetery began near the shore and gradually moved northward. There are known to be several unmarked graves on the site and there may well be others.

Other names associated with this site include: MacLeod, Stewart, Grady, and Cassford. The last interment was in 1963.

Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/P25

Character-Defining Elements

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

- the location of the cemetery in a grassed area with a backdrop of trees
- the sign marking the name of the cemetery and the remains of a fence
- the variety of stone and marble headstones of varying sizes and designs with their decorative motifs and inscriptions
- the potential for 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

Peopling the Land

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/P25

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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