Mr. J. S. Hulett, our well known photographer, has just completed and left at our office an excellent photograph of the fine monument, erected years ago, in commemoration of the landing of the first company of the U.E.L. pioneers of Adolphustown, on the shores of that place. It is, as far as we know, the first good photograph that has yet been taken of that monument and it makes a real historical picture well worthy to be in the possession of all the descendants of those truly patriotic pioneers. This country owes so much to them that it is well to honor their memory. The Beaver has before made reference to the old U.E.L. Burying ground at Adolphustown, which, we believe, is the most historic "God's Acre" anywhere on the shores of the Bay of Quinte, and there are few more so in all of this province. The brief story of its founding will well bear repeating, however, as to many of the young readers especially it may not be well known.
Story of the Burying Ground
It was on the 16th June, 1784, that the first company of U.E.L. refugees first landed at Adolphustown, to hew out to themselves homes in the then unbroken wilderness of the township. They had been driven from their native country and their former comfortable homes in New Jersey and New York after the conclusion of the war of the American revolution, their sole crime being that they maintained their loyalty to the British flag during that war. In common with thousands of others their lands and their property had been declared forfeited, and they were subjected to banishment. After the lands fit for settlement in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick had been exhausted, it was deemed best to try settlements in Upper Canada, then a part of the province of Quebec. They left New York in September, 1783, in several small sailing vessels, escorted by a British man-of-war and, after a very tedious voyage around the Atlantic coast, spent the winter in Sorel, below Montreal, and resumed their hazardous trip early in the spring up the St. Lawrence in small open boats, reaching their destination on the 16th of June. When the Loyalists landed in June it was told them that the surveyors had not yet completed their work of the lots and until it was done no apportionment could be made, as each family was to receive its farm by "drawing lots."
The company had, therefore, to remain for some weeks in their cotton canvas tents with which they had been provided by the government. While they were thus delayed, a young child, a little girl about six years of age, died. The child was buried on a small rise of ground just back of the ten encampment. Not many weeks later, during the same season, one of the men, a Mr. Hoover, was killed by the falling of a limb from a tree he was chopping and he, too, was buried in the same place. After that time, for several years, it was made the last resting place of nearly all who died in the township south of Hay Bay. Perhaps nearly every one of the earliest families in all that district was represented by one or by all their members in that memorable ground. It was long popularly known as the "U.E. Loyalist Burying Ground."
The Centennial Celebration
In June, 1884, arrangements had been made for a centennial celebration at Adolphustown, in commemoration of the landing of the first settlers a hundred years before. That celebration was on the most extensive scale of any gathering ever held in the township. It lasted several days and was, in all, attended by some thousands of people. The celebration proper began on Monday, 16th June, but on the previous Saturday there was a large gathering in the second concession in connection with the laying of the corner stone of the Methodist U.E.L. Memorial church. It was laid by Mrs. Joseph Allison, at that time the oldest surviving member of the Methodist U.E.L. families in the township. She was a member of the Hoover family - a family noted among the early pioneers; and her husband, also a child of one of the earliest of the pioneer families, was born while his parents were on their way from their old home at Haverstraw, Duchess county, N.Y., to their new home in Adolphustown. He became a popular local preacher in the Methodist church. He had died years before that time, and now he and his faithful wife lie side by side, with several members of their family, in the Allison mausoleum near the bay shore, on the old homestead farm.
The corner stone of the Anglican U.E.L. church (St. Alban's) was also laid during the celebration week, by Lieut.-Governor Hon. J. Beverly Robinson, - also a descendant of the U.E. Loyalists, and nearly connected by marriage with the Adolphustown Hagermans.
The following account of the celebration proper was taken from the volume published just after that time, giving the official report of the proceedings:
"On Monday the 16th June (1884) the celebration commenced. From early dawn carriages began to arrive; all Adolphustown and adjacent places were well represented. The day was most auspicious. By noon a number of boats from Belleville on the west and Kingston on the east, arrived with decks crowded from all the intervening points. The Picton troop of cavalry under Major Fred White was among the arrivals. Three band discoursed sweet music at frequent intervals, the fine band of the 15th battalion, the band from Picton, and the band of Kingston. The military display opened by the playing of the National Anthem and a public invocation of Divine blessing on the day's festivities and those taking part in them. In the afternoon the people were summoned about the speaker's stand, and addressed were delivered. Above the speakers' heads floated the handsome flag of the Native Canadian Society, of Belleville. The programme was opened by playing the National Anthem, and the invocation of the Divine blessing and returning thanks for the prosperity which has attended the U.E. Loyalists and their descendants and the nation which they founded.
The Celebration Committee
As so many of the active and well known men of that day who constituted the committee at that time have since been gathered to their fathers, it may be well enough to name them here. They deserve honorable mention in this connection, for they entered most heartily in the work in connection with that centennial celebration.
Lewis L. Bogart who resided north of Hay Bay, was the President. He was then the oldest of the survivors of the first Pioneer families. He died several years ago, between eighty and ninety years of age, and lies buried with his wife, two of his children, and his parents in a family plot near the old homestead, on the north shore of Hay Bay.
John J. Watson, J.P. was the corresponding secretary, and took a very active interest in the celebration. He was for many years an active and prominent citizen of the township and filed many prominent positions in his native township, such as Township Clerk in his early years, as a member of the Township council, as Reeve of the Township, as Warden of this County, as President of the Lennox Conservative Association, and other positions. He died years ago and lies buried in their own family plot just east of the St. Alban's church, of which he was a member.
A.L. Morden, Q.C., of Napanee, was also a member of that committee, and one of the principal speakers at the public meeting. His death a few years ago, while yet apparently in the meridian of life; the bringing of his body home from Scotland, where he was on a visit at the time of his death; and the immense funeral in the Western Methodist church here, are yet subjects of painful remembrance.
Archibald C. Davis, an ex-Reeve of the Township, to which position he was several times elected was also one of the committee. He died suddenly at his own home some years ago and lies buried in the yard of the Methodist church near by. He has a number of descendants now prominent and well known men in this county.
Paul Trumpour was another of the Committee, and was at that time a large farmer and a well known citizen. He belonged to the Trumpour and Dorland families - his mother was a Dorland - who have been well represented in Adolphustown from its first settlement to this day. He died years ago, at a ripe old age, but some of his brothers and sisters are yet among our well known residents.
George German, who lived north of hay Bay, was another, and also a descendant of one of the early and well known families. He died years ago and lies buried with his parents and grandparents in the old burying ground at "Bogart's Hill".
Dr. Allen Ruttan, of Napanee, was also on that list. He was a grandson of the first families, both on the father's and mother's side - his mother being a Roblin. How well and kindly remembered is the genial Doctor yet, not only in Napanee but throughout the county, though, it is now some years since his death.
James S. McCuaig, ex-M.P., of Picton, was another, and a very active and enthusiastic U.E.L. he was. His mother was a Trumpour, of Adolphustown and though he was a native of Prince Edward County and a life long resident there, he always took a lively interest in old Adolphustown affairs. He lies buried near his father and relatives at Picton.
Solomon Wright, J.P., one of the staunch and honored men of South Fredericksburgh, was also on the list. Though a man of few words he was one of the "reliable" in deeds, in all matters of church and state. He died years ago, but he lives yet in the memories of nearly all who ever knew him. His children are yet among the well known citizens of our county.
William Peterson, of the Hay Bay south shore, and at that time one of the well known survivors of the first pioneer families, has also been gathered to his fathers but is yet kindly remembered by a large circle of relatives and friends. The Peterson were a numerous and much respected family in the early settlement of this county, and they are yet largely represented through the Bay counties.
The Memorial Monument
We have not space at our disposal to make mention of the two days' meetings, the speeches and the speakers. It was then arranged that a suitable monument should be erected. It now stands where it can be plainly seen from the bay, a grey granite square monument, about 12 feet high, resting on a solid limestone base. It has this inscription:
"In Memory of the U.E. Loyalists, who through Loyalty to British Institutions, Left the U.S. and Landed
on these Shores on the 16th of June, 1784"
Surrounding it are a few head stones in memory of some of the earlier men and women, erected by some descendants of families at a later time. In that day there were no head stones available; red cedar posts being used. Many of these posts are yet standing, but whose graves they may designate is now hardly known. Some of the most prominent and influential men of their day in this Province now rest there in unmarked and unknown graves. It seems a real pity it should be so, considering how much our county and our country owe to them. Here are a few of that class:
Major Peter VanAlstine, the leader of the Adolphustown company, the head of a very large number of descendants, and the Representative in the First and Second Parliaments of Upper Canada of Adolphustown and Prince Edward counties. There is nothing now to mark his grave or that of the several members of his family buried there. It is said they lie next to the Allisons in the northeast corner of the grounds.
Thomas Dorland, also a leading man in the affairs of the township, both municipal, militia and parliamentary, for years, and a member of the Third Parliament of Upper Canada.
Nicholas Hagerman, who resided on the farm where this historical burial place is located. He was the first regularly authorized practising lawyer in Upper Canada, the father of three sons who became lawyers; two of them were members of the old Upper Canada Parliament, and one of them a prominent member of the old "Family compact Government" away back in the thirties, and later on a Chief Justice in our courts, and the father-in-law of the late Hon. John Beverly Robinson, Lieut.-Governor of Ontario.
In another part of the plot and near the large monument lie Willet Casey, a member of the Fourth Parliament, and one of the richest and most active men in the township in his day, and his son, Capt. Samuel Casey, also a member of one of the early parliaments, in the early twenties, and their wives and other members of their families. Years ago Mrs. Isaac Ingersoll, a daughter of Willet Casey, had stones erected at her expense in memory of her father, brother and other relatives. These had become so much dilapidated and moss-covered that their inscriptions were hardly decipherable. Recently Mr. George H. Casey, of Butte, Montana, has very generously provided the means to have them entirely renovated, surrounded with a new wrought-iron fence, and otherwise much improved ,so that they may now stand good for a generation yet to come. Others who have the means at their disposal would do well to follow the same praiseworthy example.
The names could be given of many others, as worthy and patriotic, who also lie there, but want of sufficient space in these columns now prevents even an enumeration of their names. That may be attempted in the near future, however.