Description of Historic Place
Old Methodist Cemetery is a 2.2 hectare cemetery on Mountain Road in Woodstock, bounded on the west by the bank of the Meduxnekeag River and sheltered from neighbouring streets by residential properties and foliage. The terraced grounds include many flowering trees, bushes, and a wooded area that slopes to the River. The historic place designation applies to the whole cemetery.
Old Methodist Cemetery is designated a Local Historic Place for being a locally important heritage cemetery for its historic, cultural, and environmental value.
Although commonly referred to as "The Old Methodist Cemetery," people of many denominations were buried here and a Roman Catholic section, St. Gertrude's, predates the Methodist grounds. The oldest burials in the cemetery, those of Irish Roman Catholics, are marked as early as 1831. It is possible that earlier burials exist but are unmarked or the markers have sunk into the ground. In 1845, a consortium of affluent Woodstock Methodists purchased the land adjoining the Roman Catholic cemetery. It is unclear whether the cemetery was originally intended solely for Methodists or if it was opens to all Protestants.
The value of Old Methodist Cemetery also lies in its interpretation as a cultural and social history of early Woodstock. Woodstock's most influential and wealthy citizens purchased plots at the northern end of the cemetery. Premiers James Kidd Flemming and Hugh John Flemming rest atop the highest terrace of the north end. The Honourable Charles Connell and Lewis Peter Fisher, prominent citizens and local benefactors, also rest here with their families. Paupers and Chinese immigrants are buried in the steep sloping area leading the the Meduxnekeag River, hidden from view from the main part of the cemetery. These graves are usually marked by simple rough stones, indicating a reverence for the dead regardless of wealth or status. The southernmost part of the cemetery is the Roman Catholic section, which for many years was fenced off from the Protestant grounds.
The variety of headstone styles is an intrinsic part of value of the Old Methodist Cemetery. The markers on the highest terraces of the grounds feature markers of granite in many different sizes and designs and display a variety of Christian symbols. The Masonic symbol is also prevalent. The lower terraces feature some markers of granite, one of wood, and an unknown number marked by rocks. The Catholic section is composed mainly of white marble markers, the majority of which are in good repair and legible.
The value of the Old Methodist Cemetery also lies in its landscape. The irregularly shaped lot features many terraced levels, some of which are in a wooded area. There are many flowering bushes and the grounds are regularly maintained. The land is situated on a quiet back street and is bordered to the west by the Meduxnekeag River. The landscape has changed somewhat due to maintenance issues and the removal of the barrier that divided the Catholic and Protestant sections.
Old Methodist Cemetery is also designated because it is the resting place of several people of local and provincial consequence, including Premiers James Kidd Flemming and Hugh John Flemming, Lewis Peter Fisher, and the Honourable Charles Connell.
Source: Carleton County Historical Society Historic Places File #22
The character-defining elements that describe the landscape of Old Methodist Cemetery include:
-variety of marker materials and styles;
-most markers facing east;
-located in a quiet back street sheltered by wooded area and near the Meduxnekeag River;
-irregular shape of lot;
-terraced landscape with mature trees and bushes;
-separation of Roman Catholic and Protestant areas.