Description of Historic Place
Robie Street Cemetery is located near the Salmon River on Robie Street in Truro, NS, outside the urban centre of town. The cemetery lies on 13 hectares of interval land and consists of several level grass-covered interment areas separated by intersecting sunken roads and pathways. Only the oldest section of the cemetery, approximately 1.6 hectares in the southeast corner, is included in the heritage designation.
The heritage value of Robie Street Cemetery is fundamentally of a religious and spiritual nature. The designated portion of the cemetery includes the location of the Truro Township’s first church building, which began construction in 1766. The earliest burials in this part of the cemetery outline the boundaries of the original church, which was removed in 1857.
The cemetery was officially designated by the province in 1815 to be a non-denominational community burying place. However, separate areas within the larger cemetery precincts were subsequently reserved for use by specific faith traditions and communities of the town. Robie Street Cemetery, as a whole, has become a tangible symbol of the different spiritual factors that have existed in the community for more than 250 years.
Robie Street Cemetery is valued as a record of the lives of the many people who have lived in Truro since the original township was founded. The first burial here was recorded in 1760, and the cemetery has been in continuous use ever since. However, the designated portion of the cemetery is used only rarely for new burials.
Among the people interred in the designated area is Sir Adams George Archibald (1814-1892), a Father of Confederation and a native of Truro, whose grave is honoured by a Federal monument sign. Israel Longworth, second Mayor of Truro and a noted historian, and Hon. G.I. Smith, Senator and Premier of Nova Scotia, are also buried in the cemetery.
Cultural and Community Value
Robie Street Cemetery is a symbol of the sense of community and common purpose held by the early settlers of the area, for the most part bound together by common origins, religion, kinship ties and shared experience.
Source: Planning Department, Town of Truro, file 10MNS0030
Elements that define Robie Street Cemetery’s heritage character include:
- grass-covered burial areas, separated by intersecting access roads and pathways;
- mature trees separating the cemetery from the street;
- original or historic memorial stones and monuments, with their surviving inscriptions;
- low stone walls and wrought-iron railings around family or group burial areas.