“This is a copy of the “History of Pine Grove Cemetery” provided by Mr. Gary Goodwin, the current Secretary/ Treasurer. This history was compiled in 1952 and I will attempt to fill in some of the blanks between then and now.”  AA McFadden



Compiled Jany.20, 1952

It is impossible to get any correct early history of Pine Grove Cemetery. Perhaps in trying to do so, it will be well to begin with the early settlers, whose names will appear in the Cemetery. Among the early settlers, we find the names of Kent, Dickey, Pollock and Fulton.

I have traced some of these from “The Millar Book”, or to be more exact “Historical and Genealogical” Record of First Settlers of Colchester county by Thomas Millar, Truro, April 3rd, 1943

In referring to this book page 349 I find the following “James Kent, born in Ailoa, Scotland 1749 came to Halifax when he was a young man. He married. Margaret Williams in 1774 settled on the farm that Robert J. Pollock now resides on. (This is the farm at present owned by Ed. Campbell). He continued there until 1882 then moved to Truro, N.S.

James Kent, their elder son was born in Stewiacke May 1st 1777. Alexander Kent, their second son was born in Lower Stewiacke May 1st, 1779. This would establish the fact that the Robert J. Pollock farm, (now Campbell’s farm) was established previous to 1774. From a History prepared by George Campbell some years ago it appears the first house on that farm was built by one named Marshall in 1760.


In the Millar Book page 108, mention is made of Matthew Taylor who was a brother-in-law of Samuel Archibald. Matthew Taylor was born in Londonderry, N.H., Oct.3rd. 1727. He came from New England to Fort Belcher Dec, 13th. 1762. He died at the house of David Dickey, on the west of the Halifax Road, south side of Stewiacke river January 22nd,1796 aged 68 years.

This would establish the fact that David Dickey had established a home at lower Stewiacke, sometime previous to that date. It is believed the site of the house was on top of the hill, on the farm now occupied by Robert E. Pollock.

David Dickey on page 300 of Millar Book is mentioned as follows: Born in Mass., 1752;married Martha, daughter of Ephraim Howard and Sarah Blair. They had four sons and four daughters, settled in Lower Stewiacke, south side of river and interval and west of Old Halifax Road.

William Dickey, a brother of David was born in 1761, married Hannah, daughter if Ephraim Howard and Sarah Blair in 1788. They had two sons and five daughters. They settled on south side of river at Lower Stewiacke. William died in 1846 aged 84 years. His widow died May 1854 aged 95 years. These are ancestors of Dickey’s in Lower Stewiacke.

Stephen Gourley, according to Millar Book was a son of James Gourley and his wife Catherine Stevenson, and was one of the Grantees of Township of Truro, and who died in 1790. His wife died July 5th, 1804, aged 90 years. Stephen Gourley was brought by his parents to Truro in 1760, and for a time kept an Inn at Board Landing, where considerable shipbuilding was carried on at that tine. He married Hannah Swinburn, widow of the late Alex Kent in 1707. They moved to Lower Stewiacke and settled on the farm that his grandson Robert J. Pollock later resided on, (and is now the farm of E.G. Campbell) where he kept an Inn. (This also includes the Lamont Kent Farm.) His house stood on the west side or road, where Mr. Pollock’s (Campbell’s) farm now’ stands. He died February 15th, 1820 age 68 years. His widow died January 3lst, 1831 aged 75 years.

Susannah, the only daughter of Stephen and Hannah Gourley was born at Lower Stewiacke, November 27th. 1798. She was married to William Pollock January 1820, they had three sons and one daughter. Robert J. Pollock was one of the sons.

Samuel Kent was a son of Alexander Kent before referred to (whose widow married Stephen Gourley). He married Mary Pollock in 1815. They had two sons and three daughters.Robert Kent was a son.

From what information we can get it looks like the Pollock Farm and Kent Farm, were at that tine one and the same, which was later divided, and one part occupied by the late Robert Kent and the other by Robert J. Pollock. Both of these farms were originally part of 1000 acres showing on plan as granted to Arthur Gould.

It would appear that the original part of Pine Grove Cemetery was taken partly from each farm, and the road leading to the Cemetery was along, or next to the dividing line between the two farms.

I have been told by Mr. R.H. McFadden, that at one time there was a house, on or about the new portion of Cemetery, purchased from Lamont Kent, and that part of what is now the cemetery was known as Hannah Gourley’s Hog Pasture.

<>James Fulton was born in Belfast in 1740 and came to New England in 1760 when he was 20 years of age. He continued there ten years being engaged most of that time in Land Surveying. He moved to. Nova Scotia in 1770 and was married to Margaret Campbell of Folly in 1771. She was born in Londonderry, Ireland in the year 1754, and moved with her parents to Nova Scotia in 1762. These were the head of the Fultons.

There was also a family of Woodworth who lived on the farm occupied by the late Alex Kent. These two families appear among the settlers.

It would appear that’ the different families took different parts of the Cemetery, for we find Kents at the northeast corner, and Fultons and Woodworths along the north side. Dickeys appear in the second row of lots while Stephen Gourley and Pollocks, were in the south west corner.

The oldest stones we can find in the Cemetery are those of William J Pollock, May 15th, 1827, and Stephen Gourley in 1820.

It is claimed by T.P. Banks that his Great, Great Grandfather Captain James Sutherland was the first man buried in what is now Pine Grove Cemetery, but there were two women previous to him. This was told to T.P. Banks by his grandmother McPhee.

There were no doubt a number of deaths previous to that time but there is no record.


In the Year 1904 Pine Grove Cemetery was incorporated as Pine Grove’ Cemetery Corp. The names of the ones appearing in Act of Incorporation were as follows: R.S.C. Hamilton, Robert Kent, N.N. Burris, G.T. MacNutt, John McPhee, Foster Campbell, E.A. Pollock, Thomas Johnston, Samuel Goodwin, W.G. Lindsay, James Wright, S.A. Logan, Alfred Fisher and James A. Jeffers. The only one still living is Foster Campbell. All the others with two exceptions were laid away in Pine Grove Cemetery.

The two exceptions are Thomas Johnston and S.A. Logan. Thomas Johnston being buried in or near Bridgetown, and S.A. Logan in the west.

In 1924 assessments were made as provided in the Act, $1.00 per lot, $0.50 per half lot. While some years this levy was not made, it is now levied annually.

In the spring of 1932 A.D. Fulton owing to other work resigned as secretary, but he left for those who came after him, a set of Books of Accounts and a very complete plan of the Cemetery.

At the annual meeting in June 1932, S.H. Taylor was appointed as Secretary in place of Mr. Fulton, and the following trustees John Kelly, President, J.J. Gourley and S.T. Gould.

R.H. McFadden in 1927 had been placed in charge in the Cemetery which work he continued until the time of his death, and much of the improvement in Pine Grove Cemetery, can be placed to his credit. Also the planting of flowers, which was a splendid addition.

In 1930 the first lawn mower was purchased and since that time the Cemetery has been kept in pretty good shape. The same board of trustees was kept in office, being re-appointed each year until the year 1941-42. During this year the President, John Kelly passed away, but he had lived to see the cemetery all leveled and improved, which was a monument to his memory for his work in having the same completed.

At the Annual meeting held on June 2ncl.1942, A.R. Kelly was appointed President, in place of his Father John Kelly and the Board were as follows;- A.R. Kelly, President, J.J. Gourley, and S.T. Gould Trustees and S.H. Taylor, Secretary. In. l943 and 1944 the same Officers were reappointed.

In 1932 a bye-Law was passed by Pine Grove Cemetery Corp. and approved by the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia in Council the 15th day of July 1932 as follows; “In cases where vacant lots are held or owned by persons and such persons are in arrears to the extent or five assessments, under the provisions of this Act such lots shall be forfeited and shall revert to and become the property of Pine Grove Cemetery Corp, and in cases where graves occupy less than one half a lot and three assessments on such lots are in arrears, the unoccupied portion of such lots shall be forfeited and shall revert to and become the property of’ Pine Grove Cemetery Corp.

In 1942, at Annual Meeting Mrs. Ruston advocated the building of a Vault for winter use, thereby doing away with the necessity of opening graves in severe weather, and people standing in snow during Burial Service. The proposition was favorably received and a subscription list started, and enough money was in sight at once, to warrant the commencement of the work. This Vault proved its value the first winter when there were two cases when roads were impassable. One was a party who was later buried in Noel, and the other in Spry Bay. At first there were some who did not like the idea of a Vault, but after seeing the benefit or it, are very much in favor of it. The land on which the Vault sets was donated by E.G. Campbell, and Deed is recorded at Truro, in Book 297, page 389

On June 7th, 1944 a large number of Volunteers gathered and spent the afternoon in cleaning and straightening up stones that were tipped, etc. This shows the interest that was growing in the upkeep of the Cemetery.

At Meeting June 5th 1945 the meeting observed one minute silence in memory of J. J. Gourley, Trustee, who has passed away. Kenneth Campbell was appointed to the Board in Mr. Gourley’s place. The Board was then as follows;- A.R. Kelly, President; S.T. Gould, Kenneth Campbell Trustees and S.H. Taylor, Secty. This Board has been re-appointed each year and is still in Office.

In 1947 Mr. R.H. McFadden was no longer able to take charge or the work in the Cemetery. The secretary was instructed to write him a letter of Appreciation for his splendid work and by a unanimous vote of the Meeting; his lot was placed under perpetual care.

In 1947 George McPhee was placed in charge of the Cemetery and during the years 1948 and 1949 and until June 1950 he did splendid work, but was forced to give up the work on account of condition of his health.

For a short period it was hard to get anyone to even do the mowing. Watson Taylor from Wittenberg mowed it a couple of times. Finally Latimer McPhee undertook to look after the work, and he and his son, Ross have kept the Cemetery in splendid condition ever since.

In 1947 the Trustees, realizing that it was necessary in the near future to have more land secured a piece of land Lamont Kent. The deed from Lamont Kent is registered in Truro in Book 224 page 449

In 1949 the lot was improved and the fence put around it and in 1950 the walks were laid and lots are all numbered with bricks made specially. These bricks being set into the ground at left corner at foot of lot.

The price of lots in this section being set at $20.00 for full lot 20’x10’ and $10.00 for half lots 10’x10’

In 1950 Mr. E.G. Campbell realizing that a great many of the Pines in Pine Grove had died and some had blown down, and others would soon do likewise, and that in the near future it could hardly be known as Pine Grove offered to turn over the lot to the Cemetery for use as a park.

During three evenings quite a number of men gathered with saws, axes, power saw and tractor and cut out a lot of old pine that were dead or dieing, and, cut out and burned a large quantity of underbrush. The Department of Lands and Forests donated fifty young. pines, which were set out, most of which are growing and doing well, and in a few years, it will really be a Pine Grove. It is fenced with a new fence. This is just a start and it in hoped in the near future to have walks laid out and perhaps some seats etc.

Today Pine Grove Cemetery is really a place of beauty as compared with 25 years ago, and is classed by many as among the better Cemeteries in the Province. People from other parts get a surprise when they see it, and go away loud in their praises.

The Undertaker Mr. E.M. Ettinger has taken a great interest and when the vault was completed made a generous donation. He always brings the hearse and lowering device in the spring, and attends to laying away any who were placed in the vault. It is worthy to note that he does this without any extra charge. He not only attends to his own, but also any who might have been placed in the Vault by undertakers in Truro or other places.

Undertakers from other places get a surprise when they see the Cemetery and just recently one said “The Cemetery is one of the best in the Province”.

For some years lot holders realizing that one dollar set in Act of Incorporation was not sufficient at today’s wages to keep lots in shape, (while it might have been when men could be had for $1.00 a day), now supplement the assessment with a generous donation, and occasionally a “Tag Day” is held. Tag Days have been held with results as follows: the year 1946 $46.51, year 1949 $103.00 year 1951 $74.65.

Money has come in well and accounts for work are paid promptly.

Some years ago a Trust Fund was established whereby lot Holders could pay in money for Perpetual Care. This has now grown so that at present time there is a Trust Account of $1950.00 and the income from same helps to keep the Cemetery in condition and will be a help in coming years.

Stewiacke, N.S.

January 20th, 1952

S.H. Taylor

After S.H. Taylor retired as Secretary in 1954, Mr. John Taylor was nominated as Secretary/Treasurer and maintained that position until 1986 when Ardith Davis was nominated.Ardith was Secretary/Treasurer until 1990 when Gary Goodwin assumed the position“for a couple of years” and is still doing the same wonderful job as he was then. Ross McPhee was the Caretaker in the Cemetery until 1988, when Ross MacLeod took over.

I (Al McFadden) took over as caretaker of the Cemetery in 1999 as well as assisting my brother, Don McFadden, in digging the graves. In 1999 I started to computerize the Cemetery Plot Plan, using AutoCAD. That turned out to be a time consuming effort that is now almost completed (6 years later). To ensure the records are as correct as possible we have taken pictures of all the headstones in the cemetery with a digital camera and compared the information on the stone with the records. As a result we have over 1000 photos of headstones stored in my computer. If anyone wishes a photo of a Dearly Beloved’s monument, please e-mail me mailto:al@tonymcfadden.net?subject=photoand I’ll be only too pleased to e-mail it free of charge. (Although a small donation to the Cemetery would be much appreciated.) If you wish a hard copy, let me know. There will be a small charge for that, though, to cover postage, etc.

In 2000 I assumed all grave digging as Don McFadden had entered the Ministry. I continued to dig the graves by hand until 2005.

In 2003 the Pine Grove Cemetery suffered a great deal of damage from Hurricane Juan. Of the 55 mature hardwood trees strategically placed in the cemetery, 26 were destroyed. Many long hours were spent in clearing out the damage and restoring the cemetery to the beautiful, peaceful resting place it always was.

It is interesting to note that in 1925 and 1926 when these trees were planted, my father, Parr McFadden, had gone into town with a horse and wagon and picked up these trees at the train station. Now I was responsible to dispose of the fallen and broken trees.

I no longer hold a position in Pine Grove Cemetery, but still maintain a great deal of interest in the Cemetery. I still have all the photo's of the headstones as well as the plot plan of Pine Grove that was updated as of August 11,2008. The Secretary Treasurer at this time is Diane Smith of Stewiacke (902.639.1351) who can help with any information newer than 2008