Recently while in Ontario I re-visited the Black Creek Pioneer Cemetery in Stevensville, just off College Road. Many of my ancestors are buried there. I couldn’t help but lament the poor state of many of the grave markers. Many of the stones are now unreadable and seem much more worn since my last visit to this cemetery in 2010. The BCPC is important to the history of Fort Erie/Bertie Township, Stevensville, and the early Canadian Tunker church in particular. Over a number of posts I will highlight the history of this rural cemetery, and the known and probable burials located there.
HISTORY OF CEMETERY BY WILLIS & MCDERMOTT
BOLDEN CEMETERY: on the banks of Black Creek; East of Stevensville, off College Rd.; 1976, renamed Black Creek Pioneer Cemetery.
- Original land granted to Parshall Terry: 1796
- John Winger bought 200 acres near this plot: 1799
- Bolden family owned land in : 1876; Brillinger owned the farm site of plot
- Albion Winger owner of property: 1900’s
In the 1860’s the property on which the cemetery stands was owned by R. Kirkpatrick. In 1876 it went to the Bolden family and later to the Brillingers and then the Wingers. In the 1900’s Albion Winger had his home here, on the banks of Black Creek.
This rather small but old plot, has served the early members of the Tunker Church from the early 1800’s. It has not been used for many years, but considering it’s age, it has little damage. Today in 1976 there are slightly over eighty stones standing, and among the family names to be found are: WINGER: CLIMENHAGE: BEAM: HOUSE: ZIMMERMAN: EVERETT: SAUER: FLAGG: RAWLINGS: SHERK: NEFF: NIGH: STORM: PECKHART:
After a reunion of the Climenhage family in the 1970’s, Louis Climenhage, with help from a number of descendants of the original settlers in this cemetery, undertook the job of restoring it. Much work was needed to remove the underbrush, to replace the fence, to put upright many of the stones that had broken, and to clean and restore others that were almost unreadable. In undertaking this job, the number of graves accounted for came to one hundred and twenty-five but it no doubt contains several more. Several of the markers were found buried well under the ground and they contained only two initials and the date of burial. They are thought to be members of the Winger family.
After completion of the restoration, it was decided to rename the cemetery once more, and from now on it is to be known as “BLACK CREEK PIONEER CEMETERY.” Down through the years it has been given the name as Winger, Brillinger, and until lately Bolden Cemetery. However, the choice of the new name was a wise one considering the location and the varied number of early settlers buried in this historic plot.
- “Bolden Cemetery Before Construction,” Fort Erie Local History, accessed July 5, 2016, http://www.fepl.ca/localhistory/items/show/1243.(↵)
- “Winger Cemetery, #3,” Fort Erie Local History, accessed July 5, 2016, http://www.fepl.ca/localhistory/items/show/1239.(↵)
- “Winger Cemetery, #1,” Fort Erie Local History, accessed July 5, 2016, http://www.fepl.ca/localhistory/items/show/1237.(↵)
- “Winger Cemetery, #2,” Fort Erie Local History, accessed July 5, 2016, http://www.fepl.ca/localhistory/items/show/1238.(↵)