Beaverdams Burying Grounds
(Smith’s Cemetery) 1801
The cemetery is located at the corner of Beaverdams Rd. and decou Rd. on the north side of Beaverdams Rd.
Historic designation is recommended for this site not only because of its age, but also because of its connection to early settlers, the War of 1812, the original folk art and the Grimsby Granite and Niagara Escarpment Limestone used on the tombstones. The oldest visible stone in the cemetery is 1805. Many of the stones, some with decorative motifs, are difficult to read but they have unique and interesting designs and epitaphs. LACAC also has recommended that these stones be considered as historic artifacts and that steps be taken to secure their preservation.
The land was not dedicated as a burying ground until the 1820’s, but burials were in fact recorded here as early as 1801. This has been a burying ground for 200 years, making it one of the oldest cemeteries in Niagara and likely the oldest “free and public burying ground” in the City of Thorold. Although history dates the oldest stone at this site as 1801, there are likely earlier burials there. This is the resting place of many of the earliest settlers of Thorold Township and continued to be used for burials for pioneers throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
A list of those buried at this site is published by the Ontario Genealogical Society but may not be a complete listing. Some of the names mentioned in the LACAC research report are Weaver, Couke, Hagar, Seburn, Goforth, Bell, Hopkins, Marlatt, Clevand, Hoover, Wellington, and Smith.
The unique site and surroundings make this a very picturesque area. The heritage designation creates another point of interest in the decou/ Lake Gibson/ Beaverdams corridor. It ties directly into the history of the area and particularly the already designated Beaverdams Church. Heritage designation of this site makes it the oldest piece of history preserved in the City of Thorold.