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Old Port Medway Cemetery

Port Medway Road, Port Medway, Nova Scotia, B0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/08/21

Old Port Medway Cemetery looking toward United Baptist Church, Port Medway, NS, 2000.; Port Medway Cemetery Committee
Looking Toward Baptist Church
Old Port Medway Cemetery, Port Medway, NS, 200. 
Looking toward Port Medway Lighthouse.; Port Medway Cemetery Committee
Looking Toward Port Medway Lighthouse
Oldest headstone, dated 1783 found in the Old Port Medway Cemetery, Port Medway, NS, 2000. The stone is in memory of Samuel Mack, a loyalist from Connecticut.; Port Medway Cemetery Committee
Oldest Headstone

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1786/01/01 to 1786/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/11/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Old Port Medway Cemetery is located on the Old Port Medway Road near Foster's Point Wharf on a high bluff over looking Medway Harbour, in Port Medway, NS. The provincial designation applies to the land, burial monuments, and associated features of the cemetery.

Heritage Value

The Old Port Medway Cemetery is valued for its age, location, historical associations, headstones, and landscape features.

Port Medway is a small, sea-side community that was first settled in the 1760s by New England fishermen. The 1786 proprietors’ records of the near-by town of Liverpool note that a “Publick Burying Ground, containing one acre of land, be allowed and laid out in Port Medway,” and that at the time of this motion forty graves already existed.

The location of the cemetery, on a high bluff over looking the harbour, reflects the ties of the settlers to the ocean. The oldest headstone is that of Sam Mack, who died in 1783. Mack is associated with the E.D. Davidson Mill enterprise and was the founder of nearby Bridgewater. The cemetery also contains a marker for Alexander Dunlap, the first magistrate of Port Medway, and a cluster of headstones for the Cohoon family, many of whom were among the founders of Port Medway. The cemetery is no longer in use; the last person was buried there in 1939.

The elaborate carving of the older headstones is rare and unique. The stones display a wide variety of subject matter, styles, and materials, including sandstone, white bronze, white stone (marble), granite, and cast zinc and are known of come from a variety of places including Halifax, Liverpool, Kentville, Saint John, and St. Thomas.

Source: Provincial Heritage Property files, no. 269.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Old Port Medway Cemetery include:

- mature trees, including Basswood and Linden trees;
- location on bluff, overlooking Medway Bay;
- headstones of various ages carved from materials including white bronze, white stone (marble), granite and cast zinc and display a variety of subjects and styles.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Province of Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Provincially Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Provincial Government of Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage Heritage Promotion and Development Division Heritage Property Program 1747 Summer Street Halifax Halifax, NS B3H 3A6

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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