2017 Heritage Talk – Gunn Cemetery

“We buried him darkly in the dead of night”

So goes a line of a poem penned by a local blacksmith commemorating the burial of a local farmer late at night in Gunn’s Cemetery, East Earltown.  The poem, a parody of “The Burial of Sir John Moore”,  that described this bizarre but pragmatic internment, was a dark secret in Earltown for a half century and only mentioned in privacy and confidence.  It was peppered with the nicknames of the local Scots, many considered offensive by the bearer, and dredged up some petty feuds.

This and other stories will be highlighted in our annual heritage talk at the historic cemetery.  Learn why the area was unofficially known as Spain and New Portugal, follow the adventurers of a one armed settler who fought in the Battle of New Orleans, and visit the grave of a lady widely believed to be the daughter of the Earl of Caithness. Many in this cemetery were removed from their Highland homes in the large scale Sutherland clearances.

The event will be taking place on Sunday, July 23rd at 3PM.  The cemetery is located on the Squire William MacKay Road, 2 kilometers from Highway 256.  Squire William MacKay Road is approximately 1 kilometer east of MacBain’s Corner heading towards Scotsburn.  If not familiar with area, you may check in at Sugar Moon Farm,  (www.sugarmoon.ca) before 2:30 and someone will be there to direct or escort you to the cemetery.

There is no admission charge.  Donations towards cemetery maintenance greatly appreciated.

Map – Squire William MacKay Rd

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