Sunday, June 07, 2009

Southampton headstone found north of Barrie

John McDonald, whose headstone was found last month in a ditch north of Barrie, was a Prince Edward Island native and fisherman whose resting place is a Southampton pioneer cemetery.

Ann-Marie Collins, archivist at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, confirmed that McDonald's grave marker had been missing from the old cemetery along the banks of the Saugeen River.

"It's just amazing that this stone has been found," she said. "There has been one other stone turn up in my time at the Bruce County museum, that's eight years now, and we're still trying to place it."

No one has been buried in the old Southampton graveyard for more than a century, and McDonald would have been interred there in its last 10 years of operation, Collins said.

He was only 46 years old when he died of "brain fever" on April 6, 1890. Collins first caught wind of a possible Bruce County link yesterday morning from a Simcoe County museum staffer. Further investigation verified it. Collins obtained a copy of the cemetery interment records and McDonald's date of death matched.

Several phone calls were received from people who subscribe to saying that McDonald was from Southampton along the shores of Lake Huron.

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