“My uncle Bill – that would be Annie, the teacher’s, husband – he was involved with the group that had to be witnessing the opening of all the graves when they were moving them.
And he said some of the graves they opened, there wasn’t really, you know, much there.
But any graves that had very much, they were put in another container and they were moved.
But any graves that there wasn’t any, wasn’t very much there – like in Dickinson’s Landing, in the graveyard there – they just, what they called riprapped that. They put heavy, heavy rocks on it, covered it completely and just left the graves.”
Emma Hollingsworth, Interview Audio Excerpts, Lost Villages Historical Society Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 14, 2013
Opening graves in the cemetery to be moved. Rip rap put on graves left in church yards.
We didn’t believe the Seaway would happen until the soundings started.
Hydro had a hard time selling it. But now people are better off.
Aunt was the last to go because Hydro didn’t want to deal with her. The rhubarb story.
Video Excerpt: Emma Hollingsworth, Lost Villages Historical Society Schoolhouse, Long Sault, Ontario. August 14, 2013
In this short video Emma Hollingsworth (née Ellis) recounts how her Uncle Bill was a member of the committee that witnessed the opening of graves before they were moved. Those coffins that were to be left in their graves during the flooding were rip-rapped, that is covered with heavy stones.
The destruction of the Sunken Villages was a complete and thorough endeavour, which also meant moving or razing of churches. The authorities met with families whose ancestors were interned in the cemeteries making them chose between leaving their graves or having them disintered and moved to the new St Lawrence Valley Cemetery between Town One and Town Two (eventually named Ingleside and Long Sault). The graveyards were then covered with rock to prevent the remaining coffins and their contents from ever dislodging and floating to the surface.
There were only two official memorials built in the aftermath of the destruction and flooding. The first was to create a manmade hill near Upper Canada Village for the plinth that comemorated the 1813 Battle of Crysler’s Farm. The second is the obscure and largely overlooked Upper Canada Pioneer Memorial a series of low-slung walls into which some of historical grave markers from each village were embedded.
Emma Hollingsworth lived in Moulinette, Ontario.
She now lives in Long Sault, Ontario.