Members of the St. Paul’s Cemetery Committee were awarded the Municipal Heritage Recognition Award at the November 7th, 2022 Council Meeting. The cemetery and chapel are located at 1304 Zion Line, just southeast of Millbrook.
Built in 1818, this burial ground is one of the oldest in the area. Established on approximately three acres of land, the St. Paul’s Church was built in 1837. Services in this chapel were discontinued in 1877 after Anglican churches were opened in the neighbouring towns of Millbrook and Bailieboro which had expanded and opened Anglican churches of their own.
In 1885 the building was designated as a “mortuary chapel” and remains part of the Parish of Cavan and Manvers.
Efforts by St. Paul’s Cemetery Board of Trustees to restore the chapel and the damaged headstones has been ongoing for many years. In October, former Chair Jill Stocker and cemetery trustees, Ruth Roberts, Bev Hilditch, and Sherry-Lynne McMahon were recognized for the work they have done over the past few years to restore both the historic chapel and monuments at the St. Paul’s Anglican Cemetery on Zion Line.
This group has spearheaded a number of projects, including the restoration of many historic headstones as well as improvements to the chapel, which has received new roof shingles and windows on the portico, thanks in part to generous private donations from relatives of former parishioners including Joan Northey. The chapel bell has recently been removed and awaits restoration.
An annual Decoration Day Service is held each year, and in 2019 the trustees hosted a special service celebrating the landmark’s 200th anniversary. More than 100 visitors attended the event, acknowledging the contributions of those who have been faithful caretakers of the property for more than 200 years.
There is much more work ahead, and Phil Unger and Sandra Hall have stepped in to replace outgoing Chair Jill Stocker and trustee Bev Hilditch to move the restoration work forward.
The Municipal Heritage Recognition Award recognizes individuals or businesses that have made changes to their home or business which are in keeping with the historic integrity of the structure, site or landscape and/or who have made significant contributions to the preservation and/or awareness of the natural, architectural, narrative or archival history of the Township.
Nominations for the Municipal Heritage Recognition Awards are received on ongoing basis and can be made online at https://www.cavanmonaghan.net/HeritageAwards/ or at the Municipal Office at 988 County Road 10, Millbrook, ON L0A 1G0. KG