X
1. Pritchard Tomb
Thomas Pritchard was a steamboat captain on the Columbia River before retiring to Victoria. When his wife Elizabeth died in 1871 he had the monument erected with two underground burial chambers. He wanted the monument moved to Ross Bay Cemetery after the Old Burying Ground closed in 1873, but this never happened. Captain Pritchard was buried beside his wife when he died in 1883.
X
2. Andrew Phillips Obelisk
Phillips was born in Scotland and died in 1870. In the 1860s he was owner and captain of the schooner Alpha which was wrecked near Barclay Sound. Masonic symbols, including the square and calipers, the all-seeing eye and the plumb bob, attest to his membership in the Freemasons.
X
3. Thomas Carter Bench Tomb
The top of Carter’s sandstone bench tomb bears Masonic insignia. He was from County Armagh, Ireland and was employed on John Work’s Hillside Farm when he died in 1869 after catching cold at a funeral a few weeks before.
X
4. Historical Marker
In 1958, the year of the Fraser River Gold Rush Centennial, a granite boulder was installed facing Quadra Street with the history of the Old Burying Ground carved onto it. The information is accurate except for one small detail: the Old Burying Ground opened in 1855, not 1858.
X
5. James Murray Yale Grave
A small concrete tablet at the base of a massive Garry oak tree marks the resting place of this Hudson’s Bay Company chief trader who served at many fur-trading posts, notably Fort Langley. Yale on the Fraser River is named for him. He died at Stromness Farm, Victoria, in 1871.
X
6. Royal Navy and Police Memorial
This area of the Old Burying Ground is known as “Naval Corner” because many monuments commemorating Royal Navy personnel once stood here. Only two of the old stones are still in place, but this one erected in 1993 by the Royal Canadian Naval Association honours fifty-five Royal Navy people and one Victoria policeman who died between 1846 and 1868.
X
7. Sutlej Obelisk
HMS Sutlej was a Royal Navy ship stationed at Esquimalt from 1863 to 1867. This obelisk was erected when the ship returned to England. The names have now crumbled away, but included those of many men who were buried at sea while serving here, plus the name of Maggie Sutlej, a First Nations orphan girl who was cared for by the wife of Admiral Denman aboard the ship.
X
8. Charles Rufus Robson Grave
Only the base of a much larger monument remains on Robson’s grave. While commander of the gunboat Forward in 1860 he rescued the crews of two ships off the west coast of Vancouver Island, but less than a year later he died after falling off his horse in Victoria. A carved broken mast, symbolizing a sailor’s life cut short, once stood above the pedestal.
X
9. Cridge Children’s Grave
Edward Cridge came to Fort Victoria in 1855 as Hudson’s Bay Company chaplain. Later he was dean of Christ Church Cathedral, the precursor of the large stone edifice beside the Old Burying Ground. This headstone bears the names of four of his infant children who died of diphtheria in 1864 and 1865.
X
10. Royal Canadian Air Force Cairn
This monument was erected in 2008 to remember Canadian air personnel who served and fell in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and many United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world. It is inscribed with the Air Force’s Latin motto: per ardua ad astra (through adversity to the stars).
X
11. Lucy Sanders Bench
Lucy came to Canada from South Africa in 1911. Her daughter married Jim Carney and lived in Shanghai in the 1930s. The Carneys’ twin toddlers were evacuated just before the Japanese occupied the city in 1937. One of those children was Senator Pat Carney. Lucy died in 1947 and requested that a bench should be placed where people could stop and rest.
X
12. Helmcken Bench Tomb
Under this tomb is a burial vault containing the ashes of Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken and the remains of his wife Cecilia and three of their infant children. Helmcken arrived at Fort Victoria from England in 1850. Cecilia’s father was James Douglas, chief factor of the fort and later governor of the colony. Cecilia died in 1865; her husband’s ashes were entombed in 1920, long after the burying ground had officially closed.
X
13. Cameron Bench Tomb
Under this tomb rest David Cameron, chief justice of the Colony of Vancouver Island, and his wife Cecilia, sister of Governor James Douglas. In 1853 they moved to Fort Victoria from their British Guiana sugar plantation.
X
14. Wallace Obelisk
Here lie Kate Wallace and three of her children. She was the daughter of Hudson’s Bay Company chief factor, John Work. Her marriage to Charles Wentworth Wallace was unhappy partly because he squandered their money. After they had to sell their home in 1869 Kate died of consumption.
X
15. Charles Dodd Bench Tomb
Dodd was a Hudson’s Bay Company chief factor and ship captain along the coast of British Columbia and Alaska. His knowledge of native languages was a major asset. He retired in Victoria where he died in 1860. The top of his tomb is supported by intricately carved fish.
X
16. John Work Bench Tomb
A sandstone bench tomb on top of a burial vault commemorates the Honourable John Work, a Hudson’s Bay Company chief factor who died in 1861. On one end of the tomb are shamrocks and a beaver, representing Work’s Irish birth and his arrival in Canada in 1814 to join the fur trade. He owned a large estate in Victoria called Hillside Farm.
X
17. Canadian Scottish Regimental Cenotaph
The stone cenotaph replaces a wooden one on the same site. The Canadian Scottish (Princess Mary’s) Regiment is an old and respected one in Victoria and abroad. The monument honours the members of the regiment who served and died in many conflicts.
X
18. Charles Ross Plaque
A polished stone plaque erected in 1943 marks the second resting place of Charles Ross who was in charge of building Fort Victoria in 1843. The next year he died of acute appendicitis and was buried at the Fort Victoria Graveyard, but was moved here after the Old Burying Ground opened.
X
19. Paul Medana Obelisk
Medana, a real estate owner and investor, was from Italy. Medana’s Grove, his land in James Bay, was a favourite picnic spot in the 1800s and was considered as a site to replace the Old Burying Ground, but Ross Bay Cemetery was chosen instead.
X
20. Carroll Monument
When erected in the 1860s this monument was one of the most impressive in the colony, but its carvings crumbled to dust years ago. John Carroll who died in 1861was the owner of the Brown Jug Saloon. Also buried here are his first wife and three of his infant children.
X
21. Tombstone Group
In 1908 the City of Victoria cleared the Old Burying Ground. A few stones were left in place, many were discarded, buried or destroyed, but about 150 were relocated to the eastern edge of the new park. Erosion, vandalism and falling trees have taken their toll on most of them. Beginning in the 1980s about 100 stones, either intact or damaged, were put in safe storage. One still standing is for Hannah Estes, a black woman born into slavery in Missouri, who died in Victoria in 1868.
X
22. Chinese Section
When the Old Burying Ground opened in 1855 no Chinese lived at Fort Victoria, but in 1858 many began to arrive for the Fraser River Gold Rush. A section of the cemetery was set aside for their use, but this is one area where the bodies are no longer present. The Chinese custom was to inter the bodies for seven years, then exhume the bones and send them to China. The last Chinese exhumations in the Old Burying Ground took place in the 1880s.
Annotations