St. Stephen Rural Cemetery
Hanson Road / Hayman Avenue, St. Stephen, New Brunswick, E3L, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
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.
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”
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.
Local Governments (NB)
Local Historic Places Program
Municipal Register of Local Historic Places
1856/01/01 to 1856/01/01
1867/01/01 to 1867/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
St. Stephen Town Hall - Historic Places file "St. Stephen Rural Cemetery"
Cross-Reference to Collection