Old Town Cemetery
1186 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A, Canada
Old Town Cemetery
Queen Street Cemetery
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Retained in a park-like setting within a surrounding urban landscape, the Old Town or Queen Street Cemetery is a small 19th century cemetery found on the north side of Queen Street, between Pim and Elizabeth Streets, in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Old Town Cemetery has been recognized for its heritage value by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, By-law 94-113.
The Old Town Cemetery is of heritage value because it is the last remaining 19th century rural municipal cemetery in Sault Ste. Marie. The Old Town Cemetery has maintained the integrity of its design and provides value as a good example of 19th century rural municipal cemetery design in a northern Ontario community. It is an important link to the history of the city.
This Old Town Cemetery was officially established in 1879, however, burials date back to 1863. In some records, it is referred to as the 'Protestant Cemetery.' The 'Catholic Cemetery', located near the Precious Blood Cathedral at the time the Old Town Cemetery was established, as well as earlier cemeteries connected with the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Anglican Church are no longer in existence. The Old Town or Queen Street Cemetery is the last remaining rural municipal cemetery associated with the Village of Sault Ste. Marie (1871), the town of Sault Ste. Marie (1887) and the City of Sault Ste. Marie (1912). The last recorded burial at the cemetery was 1914.
As a 19th century rural municipal cemetery, Old Town Cemetery is characterized by its naturalistic setting to attract and comfort the living; its creation of a secure space for the dead; its use of markers and monuments to perpetuate the memory of individuals of historic importance; and its layout as a park-like space for public use.
In use between 1863 and 1914, the gravesites found in the cemetery provide important insight into the lives of Sault Ste. Marie's early inhabitants and reflect the key historical themes in the development of the city during this period. These include the gravesites of a number of prominent individuals, such as George Ironside, a former Indian Superintendent; David Pim, the first English settler in Sault Ste. Marie (other than government officials or Hudson’s Bay Company Officers) and a former owner of the Ermatinger Old Stone House; Margaret Pim, wife of George Ironside and Postmaster; Colonel John Savage, the first Registrar of the Judicial District of Algoma; Henry Pilgrim, the first Clerk of the District Court and Captain T.A. Tower, who led the voyageurs who took part in the 1870 Red River Expedition commanded by Sir Garnet Wolsley.
Sources: Sault Ste. Marie Designation By-law 94-113; Old Town Cemetery Designation Report
Key character defining elements of the cemetery that reflect its value as the last remaining 19th century rural municipal cemetery in Sault Ste. Marie and as an example of 19th century rural municipal cemetery design in northern Ontario include:
- its location, orientation and dimensions
- its park-like setting, including its mature trees
- the original plan and placement of gravesites
Key character defining elements of the cemetery that reflect its value as an important link to the history of Sault Ste. Marie include:
- the original markers and monuments, with their surviving inscriptions
- the variety of styles, materials and symbolism represented in the markers and monuments
- the range of size and sophistication of markers and monuments, from modest to elaborate
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1863/01/01 to 1914/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Community Services Department, Recreation and Culture Division, City of Sault Ste. Marie
Cross-Reference to Collection
Sault Ste. Marie Museum; Sault Ste. Marie Public Library Archives