Page 32 - Mary Willa Littler and "The Strangers' Grave"
ISSUE : Issue 71
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/12/1
had lots of newspapers from 1891. You know, I was well into my research with the whole thing. But I started looking at newspapers, and it was saying that these strangers were buried in one lot, 16 feet by 16 feet, and it had been dug to a depth of 5 feet or 6 feet. And that all bodies were laid side by side. But it still wasn't saying how many. In one newspaper article, it actually said "10 or 12" would be buried there. Another statement that was made in another newspaper said it "would not exceed a dozen." But in the meantime I've spoken with the fellow who's been the gravedigger in Springhill for quite a num? ber of years. And I asked him, just lately even, how many would be buried in a lot 16 by 16 feet. And he said no more than 8. And that's been my feeling for a long time, too, that there are probably 8. But now it's to find out who those were. Mary Willa found Thomas Rogers' grave. His stone is lo? cated in Dominion, Cape Breton, across from the I.O.C. Hall. He was 21 when he died in 1891, and was survived by his mother. He was a native of Old Bridgeport, Cape Breton • the sole support of his mother. He and his mother had come to Springhill after the explosion in the Ford Pit in 1880, when his father was a victim of that dis? aster, along with 41 others. rail. But it didn't say who those 21 were. Which makes it more complicated. So, I want to find out who those 21 were that were taken away by rail, (and) who were the ones that were the strangers. And may? be then I'll feel like it's coming together and it's complete. now, but it's been Of the 21, I think maybe I have located about 18 that were taken away by rail. I'm getting closer 15 years. 15 Minutes (From Sydney, that Is.) I NORTH SYDNEY ' 794-4703 But that kind of goes in another direction too. Be? cause there were 21 taken away by (And how many are buried right at Spring? hill?) There were 75 graves that we locat? ed and identified because they had markers similar to this. (Markers that said some? thing like, "Killed at Springhill.") And it did say their name, yes. And then there are a couple of lots that don't have mark? ers on them. But I'm certain because of the cemetery records. (Once you name those who are at Springhill and those who were taken away, then you feel you'll be able to name the people that are in The Strangers' Grave.) That's right. And although I guess they'll always be strangers, at least their names will hopefully be inscribed on the marker that is now there. There is a marker there now. There wasn't one in 1981 when I started the project. But now there is one. (Where else have you found graves?) Pictou County. Stellarton, Westville. I've gone to Tatamagouche. There was one in Scoudouc, New Brunswick. Quite a few places, really. In lona. In Port Hood. from the Industrial Cape Breton Board of Trade Serving homes and businesses throughout Cape Breton Island Distributing the White ''''''''B ''HH''B''. '''Bh '''''' Maple Products SYDEOi' 'y ?? '''gi'P''r PETRa(ANADA
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