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Bruce Road Pioneer Grave

Bruce Road - Route 349, Glenwilliam, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/02/08

Showing location of grave near the highway; Province of PEI, Donna Collings, 2009
Showing location of grave near the highway
Showing gravestone; Province of PEI, Donna Collings, 2009
Showing gravestone
Detail of inscription; Province of PEI, Donna Collings, 2009
Detail of inscription

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/03/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

This solitary gravestone is located near the highway on Route 349 in Glenwilliam. It was once in the backyard of a house which is no longer standing. The site is maintained by the landowner.

Heritage Value

The Bruce Road Pioneer Grave is valued for its association with the Bears family which once lived on the property.

James Harris Bears (1852-1932) and his wife, Jesse MacLeod Bears, once resided on this property in Glenwilliam. They would have a family of five children including Alfred, William, Robert, Margaret, and Theophilos "Arthur".

All of their children survived into adulthood except for William Alexander Bears who died of diphtheria on February 22, 1889, when he was only two years and six months old. Diphtheria was a serious bacterial infection which affected the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. Highly contagious, any infected person had to be quarantined from six to eight months. Young William Alexander did not survive the disease and due to its contagious nature and the fact that it was winter, his remains were interred in the backyard of his home.

The Bears family left Glenwilliam for Massachusetts in 1890. They stayed there a few years, before moving back to Canada where James Harris Bears obtained employment as a master carpenter with the Canadian National railway in Moncton, New Brunswick. There are descendants of the family living in the Moncton area today.

The Bears home on the Bruce Road has long ago disappeared, but the gravestone still stands, having been cared for by the current property owner, who has repaired the stone which had toppled over and kept it free of debris and tall grass. The stone is ornate containing the phrase: "In loving memory of" and a floral motif. It also features a scriptural quotation from Job 1:21. It also poignantly asks the "Reader": "Where will you dwell for all eternity..."

Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/P38

Character-Defining Elements

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

- the single gravestone with inscription
- the location of the stone near the highway in Glenwilliam



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 Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4310-20/P38

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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