Friday, October 7, 2011

Hamilton Cemetery Visit

Today I went for a walk in the cemetery.  My first walk in many, many years.  When I was a kid, my cousin and I used to visit local cemeteries quite frequently.  I can't say why, but we found them eerie and intriguing.  Sometimes we would bring flowers and place them at stranger's grave.  Sometimes we would tidy up a gravestone that appeared to be not visited and neglected.  Sometimes we would just take a walk.

Cemetery I used to frequent with my cousin. It's in a little town of Chodecz in Poland
Chodecz cemetery again, row of tombs
 Reflecting on my younger days, I decided to visit the Hamilton Cemetery, the oldest municipal cemetery in Canada.  I've wanted to come here for years, but somehow never did.  Am I glad I finally broke that barrier.  It's absolutely beautiful there and despite being a graveyard, Hamilton Cemetery beams with life.

Almost as soon as I entered I was approached by a ground keeper who saw me staring at a tall and ornate grave stone.  He was a chatty fellow who loves his job.  I guess we share the interest in darker aspect of life.  He told me the main building which was built between 1855 and 1862 originally started out as mortuary chapel and caretaker's home.  Today it is administrative headquarters for all Hamilton Cemeteries.  Apparently people say it is haunted and even one of the TV shows was trying to get inside but City didn't give the permission.

Main building

From beginning my focus was to get to the crypt I saw from the street.  It's situated on the hill and clearly visible from behind the gates.  I had to see it up close.

Sanford family vault
Senator Sanford was a first local person to produce ready made clothing.  Back in 1800s clothes were made by a tailor and Senator Sanford's store was the first one where one could come in and buy clothes from the rack.  He brought an architect from New York City to build this vault.  The figure on the top is the Greek Goddess of Hope, pointing her finger to the sky.  This is a real beautiful crypt.  The back of it once had a historic stained glass window but sadly it's been vandalized.

More pictures:

This tomb was partially open

This was a place of burial for the whole family.  One side listed all the children that were buried here ages 6 months to 4 years.  That was really heartbreaking.

I even captured some Canadian geese.  This one was clearly trying to say something.

Getting down and dirty. My favourite boots were shiny and spotless when I left the house. Gotta love it.

I only had an hour today to look around and I only covered one part of the cemetery.  This place is very big.  I will definitely come back for some more in the near future.


  1. Really gorgeous photos! I enjoyed this post a lot, I love graveyards. My favourite spot where I live is the graveyard because its quiet and full of lovely flowers. :)

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Yes, graveyards are indeed peaceful and beautiful. Truly perfect getaway place. :)

  3. I too am a cemetery fan, mostly for the sculpture. My favourites so far have been in Paris and London, England. Thanks for following my blog!

  4. You're most welcome! Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. :) Paris and London cemeteries must be amazing. The history in Eastern Europe goes so deep and architecture is so beautiful. I'm originally from Poland and I have a lot of appreciation for European culture.