Grand Bay-Westfield is home to many historic graveyards dating back to 1786.
The Heritage committee has undertaken a project to identify and catalogue all of the burial sites in the town.
Mount Hope Cemetery
Mount Hope Cemetery is a burial ground situated at the top of a hill overlooking the historic Mount Hope Farm property. The site is located just off the Nerepis Road, and is accessed by a steeply inclined entrance that is lined with mature trees.
Colonel Henry Nase and General John Coffin some of the area’s earliest settlers donated a plot of land where their properties intersected to the local community with the intention of establishing a non-denominational cemetery for residents of the area. Elizabeth Nase, daughter of Colonel Henry Nase, was the first to be buried in the cemetery, in 1791. Her headstone, the oldest in Kings County, is positioned to look directly over the Nase family homestead, known as Mount Hope Farm. Later Nase burials are positioned in the same manner. These early stones are mainly of white marble in tablet form, which is typical for cemeteries of the period.
Stevens Cemetery is a private family burial ground located in a wooded area within the neighbourhood known to local residents as “Ingleside.” The cemetery, which holds approximately 150 graves, was established on a piece of the 200 acres of land granted to Loyalist Shubael Stevens (1747-1825) of New Haven, Connecticut in 1784. Shubael Stevens is buried here, along with his wife Martha (1761-1840), their children and grandchildren, and members of the extended family whose surnames represent some of the region’s earliest residents, including Bunnell, Finley, and Roberts. Shubael’s daughter Melilia (1795-1818) was the first person to be buried in the cemetery, followed the next year by her cousin Martha Ann (1814-1819).
This cemetery is located at Westfield near 273 Nerepis Road (N 45 21.441 W 66 14.243) and contains the grave of Henry Nase described as a native of Dover, Dutchess County NY.
Henry Nase was one of the first Loyalist settlers in the area and the builder of Mount Hope Farm
His wife Jane Quinton is also buried here (date of death May 29, 1852)/
Other Nases are: G Harry Nase (1877-1955) and his wife Mabel V Reid (1884-1959), Murray Nase, wife Agnes and son.
Charles Hayter Burial Ground
This burial ground is located near 2 Bustin Road in Epworth Park. The site measures 20 feet by 20 feet and contains the graves of John Hayter, Mary Hayter,William Hayter and Walter Biggard.
The burial plot lot is described as being adjacent to an open air Tabernacle with foundations and wooden seating built by the Reverend James Crisp, Methodist Missionary circa 1909.
There is no sign of the tabernacle and there are no grave markers.
The site is overgrown and has become indiscernible as a graveyard. Permission must be obtained from the owner of the adjacent property.
Watson Family Cemetery
The Watson Family Cemetery is a small isolated burial ground located on a 1 acre section of the 50 acre farm formerly owned by William Watson. It is the only known burial site of members of the early black settlers in the Grand Bay-Westfield area.
William Watson arrived in Saint John from Virginia in 1815 on board the Romulus. (sources: Beatrice McGovern, local historian, 1963). In 1838 Watson was granted a 50 acre parcel of land adjoining that of Samuel Smith, the other black man who arrived aboard the Romulus in 1815. The lots were located near Alwington Manor, the Coffin estate. (source: PANB land grants). Less than an acre of this land was used as the family cemetery.
Watson and his son, William Junior, were respected members of the community. William Junior, born in New Brunswick and married to a white woman from England, lived to an advanced age and died in 1916. He and his wife Elizabeth, two infants and an adult daughter were buried in their family cemetery. Circles of stones outline their final resting places. Five small white wooden crosses placed there in recent years by a previous owner Mr. Don Perrin,mark the gravesites. A tribute to this family is noted on an interpretive panel at the Kiwanis gazebo on the Nerepis causeway.Recently, the bomb disposal squad , from Gagetown, using ground penetrating radar discovered an additional grave.
Anglican Cemetery 235 Nerepis Road
Lingley Private Cemetery Sagwa
Located in an area behind 2 Sunnyside Drive. This small graveyard is home to 15 graves. Family names are Fanjoy, Finley, Lingley and Watters. The graveyard in on private property and the property owner discourages visits. Family members wishing to visit are asked to respect the privacy of the property and to make arrangements and seek permission well in advance.
Presbyterian Burial Ground
Located on a hill at the intersection of highway 7 and highway 177 this graveyard has been abandoned since the Kirk or Presbyterian church burned down circa 1921. No records have been located but several markers remain along with remnants of the old church foundation. The Godfrey family plots are located there among others.
Brundage Burial Ground
Located behind the dwelling of Leo Hannigan at 55 Edgewood Drive, this burial ground contains the markers of the Brundage family and William D Jones. Sophia Jones was a Brundage. Elizabeth L MacKenzie and Tryphenia Watters graves are here too.
Saint Augustine's church cemetery
St Augustines church was built in 1926. Before its formation, the Catholic population was serviced by 2 different areas of the province. A priest from Petersville, Father O'Regan visited and held Holy Mass in the home of Bernard McGovern. Then, Fathers Farrell, Hannington and Carleton travelled by horse and buggy to say Mass twice a year and offiiciate at other occasions. It was not until 1932 that this practice was discontinued and Westfield was pronounced a parish by the Bishop.
Details are still being sought on this burying ground located on the banks of the St. John River. Many markers are damaged or missing . The remaining markers are for the Elliott family and the Stephenson family.
The abandoned burial ground at Morrisdale.
IThis graveyard is found on a hillside off the Corbett road in Morrisdale NB. It is overgrown and many of the markers are in disrepair. Details are still being recovered.
The Evans Cemetery
This is a small burial ground on the private property of Gordon Simms on the River road. Further details will be forthcoming.
St. Peter's Cemetery, Woodmans Point.
Well kept cemetery at Woodmans Point. Former site of St. Peter's Anglican chuch which was built here in 1796. The church was moved to Public Landing in 1860 by a team of oxen who dragged the church up river on the ice.
Grand Bay-Westfield Baptist Church
Formerly referred to as the loyalist burying ground, this burial ground is adjacent to the Grand Bay-Westfield Baptist church. Several of the markers are in disrepair and stand in marked contrast to the more modern recent markers. Of particular note is the Hamm family who donated the land to build the church.