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Monday, September 1, 2014

Abandoned Ontario Part 2: Brudenell Cemetery

The next part of our trip was unplanned but a worthwhile stop. On our way to Letterkenny to find one of Al Capone's hideaway cabins we drove through the township of Brudenell. As I was driving, I couldn't help but notice a rather aged cemetery alongside a house that looked fairly neglected. It was a gorgeous house, with adjacent stables and an old till.

Brudenell has a similar story to a lot of the other ghost towns in Renfrew County. The town was pioneered and cultivated in the 1850s by immigrants, and decades later experienced economic decline after the railway was built in nearby Killaloe. However, there is still quite a community living in Brudenell, and I've read that  most are direct decedents from the first founders of the township. This is reflected in the state of the old cemetery. Cemeteries don't get much older here in Canada, but this one was in excellent shape for its age.

The cemetery is called Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, and featured the graves of Irish pioneers who died in Brudenell from 1858 and onwards. I'm not a religious person, but I've always found graveyards very humbling. The three of us took a nice walk around the hilly site to read the names, ages, and birthplaces written on the stones. It's hard to imagine the lives and hardships of these people, trying to build a livelihood from nothing.


  1. I love old cemeteries. The different sayings and ways of documenting peoples lives is interesting to see. The typography and details used on the stones is also really pretty to me. The old house looks like it would have been a cute place o live.

    1. The old house was adorable! Definitely would have been a favorite of mine in it's prime...enough space in the back for a little hobby farm.

      I agree about the graveyards! This was the first one that I've seen that was this old but had signs of rehabilitation. Stones were being kept from cracking into two, and some were even replaced with newer stones. The community definitely puts a lot of effort and love into remembering their founders!