ESTHERVILLE CEMETERY ISSUE UPDATE:
Port Burwell – Bayham Township Council continued discussions on the Estherville Cemetery dispute at their recent meeting and have set up a meeting with cemetery preservationists to investigate the matter further. The following was provided by Wanda Hoshal, a preservation supporter, in response to an Aylmer News inquiry.
“We are hopeful that there will be a resolution to the Estherville issue and it appears as if Deputy Mayor Cliff Evanitski is willing to explore the options starting from the beginning and tracing the lands from the Crown to present day. We know there are gaps in the history of the property and how it fell into private hands when there are not records to indicate a sale by the Baptist Church. We would like to see the ancestors accorded the respect due to the founders of Bayham and Elgin County and would like to see council move to preserve the history of our ancestors. ..We would like to see a determination of where Highway # 19 actually is and how it affects the properties surrounding it. We are most concerned that surveyors may have, and continue, to use incorrect points of commencement which may have moved the boundaries of properties back towards the creek rather than taking lands from the sections abutting the highway. There are more issues involved here than the preservation of the cemetery, although that has been our primary focus. The cemeteries Regulation Unit has not, in our opinion, lived up to its mandate and have not acted, nor conducted the necessary investigations into the cemetery. There are no records in Bayham, listing Estherville as abandoned. While in 1968 there was an active cemetery board appointed by the township and there are records to indicate an account was set up for the perpetual care with donations from relatives and friends, (the account was under township jurisdiction and interest was paid as is shown in records) but there are no records of any applications to the CRU to either abandon or close the cemetery. These are records we have endeavored to find in the municipal office but have as yet been unsuccessful. To date, there is a meeting with council members and staff to review the records we have, complete with early maps and documents that may enable them to act in some manner. We are unable to predict the outcome but will strive to have the matter addressed by council and with luck, the province.”
OPTIMIST CLUB TOY COLLECTION
“AYLMER MAN LOST ON BESSEMER SINKING IN 1909”
Aylmer – One hundred years ago, on December 7, 1909, the Marquette and Bessemer freighter sunk in a storm while on a regular round trip from Conneault, Ohio to Port Stanley. The ship, carrying railroad cars of coal , and most of the crew of 38 were never found. Seaman William Edward Harvey 18, one of six children of Andrew Harvey of South St., Aylmer, who had been with the crew 5 months, was one of three Canadians who perished. His body was not found. This picture appeared in the Aylmer Express shortly after the incident.