Description of Historic Place
The Red Bank Pioneer Cemetery has a picturesque coastal setting. It is located on the west side of the highway after crossing the bridge in North Lake. The site is situated on a hill overlooking the lake. Farm land can be seen to the north of the cemetery, North Lake Harbour is on the east side, while fishing shanties are located south of the site.
This pioneer cemetery is valued for its association with the early settlers of North Lake; for its association with the seafaring history of the area; and for its contribution to the cultural heritage of the community.
The cemetery is located on land once owned by Peter Rose (1763-1812). He was born in Dorsetshire, England. During the American Revolutionary War, he was a private in the First Battalion of the King's Rangers. This was a British provincial military unit raised by Colonel Robert Rogers in Nova Scotia in 1777.
Rose had left England in his youth for a life at sea. He was living in Boston, Massachusetts at the time of the Revolution when he joined the Rangers as the servant of Captain Edward Mainwaring, one of its commanding officers.
In the Spring of 1782, the First Batallion was stationed in St. John's Island (PEI). It was disbanded in the autumn of 1783, but in November 1782, members of the King's Rangers were being encouraged to settle in St. John's Island (PEI). A notice printed at the time stated "we think it our duty to point out this Island to you, as the most eligible country for you to repair to, of any we know between this and New Jersey."
Peter Rose decided to stay in St. John's Island and is listed on the Muster Roll of June 12, 1784 as receiving one hundred acres in Lot 47. Captain Mainwaring, being an officer, received seven hundred acres, also in Lot 47 where North Lake is located.
Mainwaring and Rose together with Martha Potts, Mainwaring's housekeeper, arrived at Surveyor's Inlet to claim their land. Some time after establishing themselves, Mainwaring decided to return to England. He proposed that if Peter married Martha Potts, he would also receive title to all of Mainwaring's land. Rose agreed and in 1796 received all of the land in North Lake.
The 1798 Census indicates there were a dozen families living in Lot 47. By 1804, Sampson Rose and his wife, Elizabeth Baker, had also arrived from England to live in the North Lake area. Sampson was Peter Rose's youngest brother. Today, the Roses in the area are descended from the twelve children of Sampson and Elizabeth, since Peter and Martha did not have any children.
In 1812, Peter Rose died after being kicked by a horse and Martha remarried, this time to William Anderson, likely from Savage Harbour. He drowned in 1827 when the ice gave way on the East Lake, near East Point, when he was watering his horse.
The first interment in the cemetery was in 1794 and the last burial was in 1840. There are no surviving records, but based on newspaper clippings, it has been determined that the following people rest there: Peter Rose; Martha (Potts) Rose Anderson; William Anderson; Uriah Coffin; John Morrow; his first wife, Eunice (Coffin) Morrow; his second wife, Hepsabeth Coffin; his daughter, Abigail Morrow; John Morrow's mother, name unknown; and the infant child of James and Eunice (Coffin) Baker.
It is known that several bodies from shipwrecks were also interred on the site. It may also be the final resting place of other disbanded soldiers from Loyalist forces who settled in Lot 47. The 1784 Muster Roll for the King's Rangers lists 37 other names who received land in Lot 47.
The few remaining grave markers on the site are red sandstones. However, in 1973 during PEI's centennial year as a province, descendants of the Anderson, Baker, Morrow, and Rose families who still reside in the area, established a memorial cairn with plaque on the site.
The cemetery is well maintained today and has been commemorated in a poem written by Franklin Baker called: "The Graves Upon the Hill".
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/P36
The heritage value of the cemetery is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the seaside location of the cemetery high on a hill overlooking North Lake and the fishing port
- the remaining sandstone markers
- the memorial cairn with plaque
- the potential for other unmarked graves on the site