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Reilly Burial Plot

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

Formally Recognized: 2009/05/11

The burial plot is located in the treed area; PEI Genealogical Society, 2008
The burial plot is located in the treed area
Yellow area indicates location of burial plot; Meacham's Illustrated Historical Atlas of PEI, 1880
Yellow area indicates location of burial plot
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/07/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Reilly Burial Plot consists of an unmarked grave located in a treed area on a picturesque hillside off Route 14 in Cape Wolfe. It overlooks the beach at a place known locally as "Ben's Shore".

Heritage Value

The cemetery is valued for its historical association with the Reilly family and early Irish settlement in the western part of Prince County and for its contribution to the folklore of the area.

The Reilly family arrived in Prince Edward Island from Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland around 1818. Many of them later worked in Bedeque in the shipyard of Hon. Joseph Pope. From there, a number of them moved to the coastal area of Lot 7 in what is today, Cape Wolfe.

The circumstances surrounding this obscure cemetery began with the dispute between two Reilly brothers, Patrick and Garret. Patrick was dismayed with Garret's choice of marrying a woman whose religious affiliation was Protestant and not Roman Catholic. Tragedy struck when Garret's newborn child died suddenly and was interred in the nearby Roman Catholic cemetery in Lot 7 with other Reilly relatives.

Local folklore says that Patrick was not content to allow this burial to occur and reputedly exhumed the coffin and placed it against his brother's door. When Garret discovered to his horror what had happened, he promptly reinterred the child again in the local cemetery. However, legend says that Patrick once again dug up the remains and returned them to Garret's door.

Finally, out of desperation, Garret decided to inter the child on a hillside near his home within site of his property. They marked the spot with a wooden cross which has long since disappeared. This place is referred to today as the Reilly Burial Plot.

The horrible experience eventually led Garret and his wife to leave the Island. They settled along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec where they remained for the rest of their lives.

The Reilly Burial Plot is the source of an important story in local folklore and is part of the intangible cultural heritage of the area.

Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/P34

Character-Defining Elements

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

- the location of the cemetery in a sandy open area on a hillside covered in grass and spruce trees
- the single unmarked grave 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/P34

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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