1. Lot 1061 Juniper Path – FOULIS Lot – ROBERT FOULIS – 1796-1866 – Born in Scotland, – engineer and artist (painting). Foulis was a partner in an iron foundry. He also competed a survey of the Saint John River from Fredericton to Grand Falls in 1826, designed a steam powered boat used on the Saint John River, started a school, was one of the founders of the New Brunswick Museum, and was an inventor. He became most well known for his invention of the fog horn, the first of which was erected on Partridge Island. Foulis’ invention was virtually stolen by an American, Dobell, who patented it and sold it worldwide. Mr. Foulis never received a penny for his invention and spent his last years in poverty and blindness. In the 1920’s and 1930’s his many contribution were recognized by the St. Andrew’s Society, Glasgow University and the Government of Canada.
2. STATUES – Several of the many in the Cemetery are featured here:
A. Lot 3588 – Catalpa Path – BARTON Lot – This statue of a woman with long hair and a flowing dress stands about 5′-6′ tall and is cut from white marble. It stands on a textured marble monument on which the family’s inscriptions are placed. The owners were WILLIAM I. BARTON, an engineer, and HERBERT BARTON, dentist.
B. Lot 3311 – Willow Avenue – McKELVEY Lot – This statue of an angel stands about 5″-6″ tall. It is cut from white marble and sits on a western granite monument on which the family’s inscriptions are written. Today, a grandson of the owner is a prominent member of the legal profession in Saint John.
C. Lot 3468 – Central Avenue – MacRAE Lot – The statue features a woman with her right hand pointing towards the heavens and her left had holding a cross intertwined with flowers. It is about 5′ tall and stands on an elaborately decorated white marble monument. Please note that the lettering on this monument, as well as the second white marble monument on this lot, is done in lead which stands up very well over time. It is rare to see this type of lettering on monuments in our area. Mr. ALEXANDER W. MacRAE was a barrister at law.
D. Lot 2502 – Garden Avenue – PORTER Lot – The statue shows a person holding an anchor. It stands about 4′ tall and sits on a base with raised lettering around the base reading “Our Love is in Christ”. Below the base sits an intricately designed pedestal about 5′-6′ high. These three items sit on top of the actual monument that also has panels for the family’s inscriptions. The statue also has angels, an anchor, and a woman grieving on a cross and these features, as well as all the lettering, are raised. The uniqueness of this statue and monument is the fact that it is made out of an unknown metal and/or pewter. Regardless, this monument and statue have stood the test of time. The Lot owner, JOHN E. PORTER, was a steam boat captain, which accounts for the use of anchors.
3. Lot 1229 – Hazel Path – THOMAS McAVITY – 1810-1887 – Born in Saint John, MCAvity served as Mayor of the city and was the founder of T. McAvity & Sons, one of the largest and most successful hardware and brass foundry firms in Canada at the time. One of its products can be seen throughout Canada and other countries to this day. Just stop and look at the fire hydrants in most of the older sections of this and many other towns and cities: the name moulded in the casting is “McAVITY”.
4. Lot 3025 Cherry Path – GEORGE FREDERICK PHILLIPS – Died June 4, 1904. Mr. Phillips was one of very few Canadians to have received the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor. He was born at Coles Island, NB and died at Cambridgeport, Massachusetts. He was a Navy engineer on the steamship USS Merrimac which sunk in Santiago de Cuba harbour on June 2, 1898 during the Spanish-American War. From comments made at a graveside ceremony in 1989 held by the Medal of Honour Society, Mr. Phillips “displayed extraordinary heroism throughout this operation”.
5. CHAPEL/COLUMBARIUM/CREMATORIUM Building.
This building was erected in 1911 as a chapel and Receiving Tomb. In 1939 a Crematorium was added. It was the first one in the Maritimes and remained the only one for many years, and it also served the North East United States. In 1995, the Chapel was completely refurbished and a columbarium was placed in it. The interior of the Chapel is opened for viewing Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. The next site on the tour, the GILBERT monument, can be seen from the Rothesay Avenue side of the Chapel.
6. Lot 2 – GILBERT – Located on what was known as Prospect Point, the Gilbert Lot was part of the original land acquired by the Cemetery from Henry Gilbert. Mr. Gilbert, in retaining this ground for his family, deemed it for use by any of his descendents. It is a circular lot with a monument in the centre inscribed with the family name. There are three circles of graves and a roadway completely around the perimeter. Flat grave covers indicate the used graves. A trust, still administered by the family, continues to provide for the upkeep and care of the family lot.
7. Lot 10 – Spruce Avenue – CAMPBELL – In this lot rests GEORGEANNA CAMPBELL, 1831- 1848 who was the first person buried in the Cemetery on March 8, 1848. She was the niece one of the Cemetery founders. A person on the Tour may notice that there are earlier death dates on some monuments. This occurred because some families purchased lots and moved in family members from other cemeteries where room was no longer available, in order for all to be buried together.
8. Lot 698 Snowdrop Path – JOHN A. MUNROE – Died February 15, 1870. Mr. Munroe was as Architect and only 29 when he died. Although a married man, he took up with a young woman, Maggie Vail, and had a child with her. When the child was less than a year old, the mother and child were murdered (1868) at a spot just off the Black River Road (then on the East side of the city), but the remains were not discovered until a year later. John Munroe was charged with the double murders, was found guilty and sentenced to death. Although his father pleaded with the Governor General, and a petition from 2,000 people was presented, the death sentence was carried out. For many years, a white handkerchief was tied to a tree to mark the site of this tragedy. A copy of “The Maggie Vail Story” by Ruby Cusack can be obtained from the author.
9. Lot 1919 Iris Path – NELSON Lot – JOHN FREDERICK YOUNG died at 19 years of age on Oct. 13, 1890 and is buried in this lot. A public memorial is erected in King’s Square to recognize his heroism in giving his life in the rescue of Frederick E. Mundee from drowning in Courtenay Bay. Mr. Young was raised by Helen A. Nelson, who is buried in this lot along with her brother, Edwin G. Nelson. He was a book seller and authored the song My Own Canadian Home, sung in NB schools for many years.
10. The REST HOUSE or PAVILLION – This is located on Central Avenue and was built in 1898 and was restored in 1991. Streetcars started their runs to the Cemetery in 1914. A favourite story is that of families making a day of visiting the Cemetery by taking the streetcar from town (3 miles away) and bringing a lunch. They would visit their families’ lots, tidying them up if necessary, and then would lunch at the rest house and return home on the afternoon streetcar.
11. The RUEL Fountain – The fountain was donated to the Cemetery in 1895 by Mr. James R. Ruel, President of the Board of Directors at the time. The fountain was made of cast iron with the figure of a woman in the center and goat heads around the outside. Water flowed from the goat heads into the large circular ground level section at the bottom. Time has taken its toll on the statue and the goat heads are no longer there because the cost of replacing them has always been prohibitive.
12. Lots 3893 and 5931 – These are the Naval/Military and DVA plots and the first burial took place May 4, 1916. Veterans from both World Wars are interred here and the lots have been filled for some time. The impressive monument and the flagpoles on the lots were donated by the I.O.D.E.
13. Lot 2397 on Mimosa Path – SIR SAMUEL LEONARD TILLEY – 1818-1896 –One of the more prominent Fathers of Confederation, Sir Samuel was born in Gagetown, NB, and held a seat on four different occasions in the NB government prior to the confederation. He was a supporter of the railway and was Minister of Customs (1867-1873) in Sir John A. MacDonald’s first government. He was also a former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick on two occasions (1873-1878 and 1885-1893), and was Minister of Finance (1878-1885), again in Sir John A. MacDonald’s government. His wife was Lady Alice Starr Tilley. A National Historical Bronze Plaque adorns this site.
14. Lot 1691 on Linden Avenue – The HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY STEEVES – 1814-1873 – Born in Hillsboro, NB, The Honorable Mr. Steeves was another of Canada’s Fathers of Confederation, and was in the mercantile and lumber export business. He served in various positions in the NB Government from 1854 to 1867, at which time he was called to the Senate (one of the original 12 Senators from NB). He served in the Senate until his death. His wife was Mary Steeves. A National Historical Bronze Plaque also adorns this site.
15. Lot 3608 – Central Avenue – The Turnbull Lot – Dr. W. RUPERT TURNBULL , 1870-1954, was born in Saint John, NB. As an aeronautical engineer, he built the first wind tunnel in Canada in 1902 at his private laboratory in Rothesay, NB. From this lab, he also collaborated with other inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell and J.H. Parkin. His greatest invention was the variable-pitch propeller, tested in flight in 1927. He licensed it for manufacture and it was used worldwide. Today, his propeller is on display in the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa, and additional details are on display at our local airport.
16. Lot 1186 on Central Avenue – WIGGINS Vault – The vault was erected in 1868, and while the Cemetery has two other vaults, the Appleby and Reynold Vaults, Wiggins is the largest and most elaborate. There have only been four entombments made in vault, and while there is very little recorded about the burials in it, Wiggins was a very prominent name in the community at the time.
17. CHURCH OF ENGLAND SECTION – Shortly after the Cemetery opened, sixteen acres of land, encompassed by Hill Avenue, was set aside for the Church of England. On October 23, 1849, The Right Reverend Bishop Medley, Lord Bishop of Fredericton, consecrated the ground. Only Church of England congregation members were buried in this area.
18. JEWISH CEMETERY – In 1873, The Cemetery started to sell lots in the Southeast corner of its lands to Jewish families. One or two families purchased a few large areas, and one such fenced area on the Westmorland Road is known as Green-Hart Cemetery. The Congregation Shaarei Zedek purchased the rest of the land in this corner and erected a beautiful stone Chapel. Louis B. Mayer, the movie mogul, contributed toward the cost in memory his mother who is buried in the cemetery, and a brass plaque recognizing this adorns the outer left wall of the Chapel. While the last section of land in this corner is known as the Shaarei Zedek Cemetery, most people today refer to this whole section as the Jewish Cemetery and it is one of the best kept Hebrew Cemeteries in Canada.