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St. Stephen Rural Cemetery

Hanson Road / Hayman Avenue, St. Stephen, New Brunswick, E3L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/06/28

Front gate of St. Stephen Rural Cemetery; Town of St. Stephen
St. Stephen Rural Cemetery
The stately pines of St. Stephen Rural Cemetery; Town of St. Stephen
St. Stephen Rural Cemetery
Picturesque view of St. Stephen Rural Cemetery; Town of St. Stephen
St. Stephen Rural Cemetery

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/02/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. Stephen Rural Cemetery is a mid-19th century rural cemetery located 1.6km from the St. Croix River and north of the Town of St. Stephen on a hill overlooking the St. Croix River and the State of Maine.

Heritage Value

St. Stephen Rural Cemetery is designated a Local Historic Place for being the final resting place of several residents of St. Stephen, for its long history in the region and for being a good example of rural cemetery design.

In 1856, land was purchased from the farm lots of George Christie and the estate of the late Angus McCoy for the purpose of creating a cemetery. Some of this land was granted prior to this time to Rev. Duncan McColl. On April 12, 1856, St. Stephen Rural Cemetery was incorporated under an Act by the Lieutenant Governor, Legislative Council and Assembly of the Province of New Brunswick. This cemetery is a good example of rural cemetery design that became popular during the mid-19th century in New England, raising the aesthetic profile of cemeteries beyond their religious functionality. The cemetery’s landscaping and pathways, along with its hillside location, create a pastoral setting that adheres to this concept of rural cemetery. There are 22.5 km of avenues named for trees and paths named for flowers for a total of 26.86 hectares. When the Loyalist Cemetery closed on King Street some of the remains were removed to the St. Stephen Rural Cemetery as well as many from the Methodist Cemetery in Union Mills. In 1867, through the efforts of the ladies of St. Stephen and Milltown, funds were provided to purchase an iron fence and gate. The wrought iron arch over the gate was replaced in 1992 and the fence was replaced in October 2005. At present, there are about 15,000 interred in this cemetery.

Source: St. Stephen Town Hall - Historic Places file “St. Stephen Rural Cemetery”

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe St. Stephen Rural Cemetery include:
- thousands of diverse tombstones, mostly of granite, some dating back further than 1856 ;
- stately pines dispersed throughout the cemetery;
- granite and wrought iron archway and gate;
- wrought iron fencing;
- 22.5 km of foot paths and avenues;
- in-ground family vault with iron door dating back to the early days of the cemetery;
- memorial entrance garden.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1856/01/01 to 1856/01/01
1867/01/01 to 1867/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

St. Stephen Town Hall - Historic Places file "St. Stephen Rural Cemetery"

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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