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The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
Chapter XXIV. Funerals

The first white man who died in the Long Point Settlement was the U. E. Loyalist, Frederick Maby. In 1794 he passed away, after only one year spent in the endeavor to build up a home in the wilderness. He was buried in a log coffin; that is, one hewn out of a solid log, covered with a rough slab. The grave was on the top of the hill which overlooks Turkey Point. There was no funeral, for there was not a minister of any denomination within a hundred miles. The weeping family simply knelt around the open grave. Besides the widow and the children of the deceased, there were three other men, still earlier settlers,—"Billy Smith,” who had lived a wild life for years among the Indians, Peter Secord, and “Dr.” Troyer.

The places of burial continued generally on the spot chosen by the family of the first person who died in that locality. When another of the settlers died, it was the natural thing to lay him beside the one who had gone before, and thus the number of those who were removed from their difficulties and hardships would keep on increasing, and the cemetery would be filled.

But some preferred to bury their loved ones in a corner of their farm, and many a little private burying ground may be seen to-day—a corner of a field, where a few cypress or willow trees have been left to murmur a requiem over the departed.

The mode of burial was simple and touching. Seldom in the early days of the settlement was there any minister to conduct the service The elder sons of the mourning family would bear the rude coffin, which had sometimes the simple tribute of a few wild flowers placed thereon, to the open grave. When the body was lowered the father, in broken voice, would read a prayer or make a few remarks about the departed to the friends who were standing around, with heads uncovered. “Dust to dust, ashes to ashes". Sadly the sorrowing friends filled in the earth and turned away, striving to drown their grief in labor. But the cypress trees softly whispered in the breeze of summer or howled in the winters blast over the resting-places of those who had been loyal and true and noble, who had done their duty for conscience’ sake, who had worked hard and long and faithfully to build a home on British soil, and to whom had now come the everlasting rest after labor. Oh, what memories, sacred and sad and sweet, cluster around these old burying grounds ! Men who rest without a marble monument, yet who need none, for the fields, clad with the ripening grain, the beautiful homes, the splendid roads, the churches, the schools, the benevolent institutions of every kind are their memorials, for it was they who first entered the wilderness and laid the foundation for that marvellous superstructure of civilization reared by generations then unborn.

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