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Murray River Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery Road, Murray River, Prince Edward Island, C0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/05/11

Showing cemetery sign; Donna Collings, 2008
Showing cemetery sign
Overview of cemetery; Donna Collings, 2008
Overview of cemetery
Stone with finger on book (Bible) motif; Donna Collings, 2008
Stone with finger on book (Bible) motif

Other Name(s)

Wilmot or Gladstone Pioneer Cemetery
Murray River Pioneer Cemetery

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/06/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

This cemetery is located one-and-one half miles from Murray River on the Pioneer Cemetery Road off Route 18. It is sometimes referred to as the Wilmot or the Gladstone Pioneer Cemetery since it borders these communities. It is a well maintained site with a sign at its northern entrance. It is bordered on three sides by agricultural land and on one side by a wooded area.

Heritage Value

The cemetery is valued for its historical association with early settlement in Murray River and the surrounding communities.

Established in 1834, the site was used by various Protestant denominations. The cemetery is located on land once owned by Joseph T. Lowe, the son of Joseph Lowe and Elizabeth Vail. The first interment was his half brother, Robert Sanders (1807-1834) who had been born in England and passed away in Gladstone, PEI. The Lowe and Sanders properties bordered each other. Today, the earliest stone in the cemetery is that of Philip Sanders who died in 1854. He was Robert Sanders stepfather. It is one of approximately 54 headstones which have survived.

The site continued to be used until 1912 when it was replaced by the newer Murray River Cemetery. However, some families continued to use the site because they wanted to be interred closer to their family members. The last such interment was that of Gavin MacLeod in 1962.

The cemetery has served a number of familes in the area including: Bell, Sanders, MacLeod, Livingstone, Lowe, Whiteway, Horton, Bonnell, Hume, and Hawkins. Many of these surnames still exist in the area.

In 1973, PEI's centennial year, the site was restored and today it continues to be well maintained and valued by the community.

Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/P32

Character-Defining Elements

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

- the setting of the cemetery surrounded by a wooded area on one side and by agricultural land on three sides
- the remaining headstones with their designs 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/P32

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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