As you walk down Barrington street in Halifax, you’ll pass the Old Burying Ground. I guess “burying ground” sounds a little better than cemetery. But it is old, especially by Canadian standards, with graves dating back more than 250 years. The Burying Ground was established the same year as Halifax was founded and the cemetery was closed to new graves in 1844.
There are some 12,000 people interred here, but only about 1200 headstones remain. Most of the names of those buried here are unfamiliar, but I bet there are many colorful stories about some of these residents. For example, General Robert Ross rests here — it was he who lead the successful raid of Washington DC in 1814 (War of 1812) and burned the White House, an admittedly unique achievement. Sadly, the General died a few days later in Baltimore and his body was said to have been returned to Halifax in a barrel of rum. Some might argue that this would be a good way to spend the ever-after, but instead he now rests in the Old Burying Ground.
A non-profit organization, the Old Burying Ground Foundation, is raising money for restoration of the cemetery.
Though I don’t spend much time in them, I do find the atmosphere of an old cemetery to be quite interesting and often wander about them for awhile if time allows. This place is lovely and green, with old trees and benches for sitting and quiet contemplation.
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