This week was a busy one. We spent Monday at Woodland, continuing our cataloging of gravestones from the Scottish Cemetery, cleaning stones, and introducing our new co-worker and former classmate, Jonathon, to the team. Jonathon started at Woodland this week as the summer student arborist, and he will help contribute to Woodland Cemetery’s Canada 150 celebrations by putting together a short walking tour on the witness trees on the property. We greatly enjoyed working with him and showing him all the beautiful sights on the property.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we search Western University’s Archives for information on the individuals and families we have chosen for our short video (which will be posted to Woodland’s website sometime later this month). MacKenzie and I spent hours going through microfilm records of London’s city directories from 1855-1875. We found several people of interest, and tracked their addresses through those decades. We discovered that James Glen, a man whose stone we found in the Scottish cemetery, lived on the corner of Dundas and Ridout, right next to where Budweiser Gardens is now located! It is amazing the kinds of information one can find in the archives. It is very interesting to look at places in downtown London in the modern day and know that things looked very different only 150 years ago! We also ventured down to the Map and Data Centre at D.B. Weldon Library to look at maps of London from the 1850s-1870s, and looked through more family fonds.
While looking through the directories, we found many advertisements and realized that we could search for adverts printed by the marble workers. Here are the advertisements of three of the most prominent marble and stone workers in London in the late-1860s and early-1870s, George Powell, Charles L. Teale, and John W. Smyth:
On Thursday we continued our cleaning of the Scottish stones, and finally finished measuring and cataloging all the monuments and inscriptions! We even had visitors from the afternoon who we had the pleasure of showing around Section U. We also spent a great deal of time looking for the graves of the Teale family. We fruitlessly searched for the grave closest to our site for the walking tour, but hopefully we will find it sometime next week.
Today, we went to St Paul’s Cathedral again and uncovered a gravestone from 1832. It memorialized the wife and son of Dr. Elam Stimson, who treated many of the sufferers of the 1832 Cholera Epidemic. His wife and son died in the epidemic within days of each other. Another one of his children became so ill that she was changed into her grave clothes and preparations began for her burial, but she pulled through and survived the epidemic. The stone had sunk to about a foot under ground level, so we lifted it out, filled in the hole, and placed the stone back on top of the grass.
Thanks for reading!