Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The West Cape Presbyterian Cemetery is located on the Old Shore Road in West Cape between Route 14 and the Northumberland Strait. There are several standing headstones, but also many unmarked graves on the site. There was also once a church on the grounds, but this no longer stands.
The cemetery is valued for its historical association with the early Scottish pioneers who settled the West Cape area of Prince Edward Island.
Scottish Presbyterians arrived in this area in the 1820s. The cemetery was established around 1843 when a church was constructed near the site of cemetery. It served adherents of the Presbyterian faith in western Prince County from Campbellton to Brae. Prior to the establishment of the cemetery, settlers in the area used the Pierre Jacques Pioneer Cemetery in Glenwood.
In 1878, a new church and cemetery were established at modern day Dunblane. This is the site of the current West Point Presbyterian Church. At this time, the Campbellton and Brae communites formed their own separate congregations.
The old church at West Cape was eventually sold to a local farmer who hauled it away for use as an outbuilding and the cemetery became neglected. When the shore road was relocated in the 1930s, it also bypassed the cemetery.
Families who had a strong connection to the area continued to use the cemetery until 1963 when the last interment happened. The prominent Charlottetown scientist and traveller, Robert Small is also buried here. Mariners who washed ashore from shipwrecks are also interred on the site.
Many of the headstones contain reference to the Scottish origins of the early settlers to the area including their year of emigration. This makes it an important source of genealogical information and a cultural resource in the area.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/P40
The heritage value of the cemetery is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the location of the cemetery overlooking the Northumberland Strait in West Cape
- the remaining headstones with inscriptions
- the potential for other unmarked graves on the site
Prince Edward Island
Province of Prince Edward Island
Heritage Places Protection Act
Registered Historic Place
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/P40
Cross-Reference to Collection