Some time in the early 1800’s a man by the name of Abram Hunsberger, who resided in Bayham Twp., Elgin County, was noted as being a teacher in a German School.
Later he learned English, his son of nine years acting as tutor. Near the village of Straffordville about one mile west, on the south side of Talbot Road, he cleared and donated an acre of land to be used as a cemetery for people regardless of belief. At that date it was known as Sandy Town.
(Kindly note “regardless of belief” a tradition that is still carried on.) Mr. Hunsberger and his wife Anna are buried in this cemetery.
On Dec.22, 1906, the Trustees, Weston Thomas, Moses Stratton, and Enos Hunsberger purchased four acres of land for $200 from Weston Thomas. Plots up to this time were sold at $5.00 per plot. The size of plots was 16’ by 16’.
In 1906 the price of a plot was raised to 10 dollars. The care of the cemetery at this time was a community project. Arbor Day was held once a year, for the genuine cleanup and donations were received from interested people to cover what was needed for the outlay. As the early years passed, many changes were made. More time was demanded to keep the grounds in shape, and in 1937 they began to work toward Perpetual Care. This came into effect a short time later. Up until this time they had been trying to collect $2.00 from each plot holder.
1955, at this time the Board received from L.C. Garnham a new map of the Cemetery, a survey that had been prepared by Mr. Garnham after many weeks of work without remuneration.
This was deeply appreciated by the presiding Board, and at this time a motion was passed and carried, that all plots sold hereafter would be according to the L.C. Garnham Survey.
On Aug. 18, 1957 the first Decoration Day was held and was so well accepted by the Community that it continues to be an annual event held on the third weekend in August each year.
Tribute should be made to all those who have given of themselves through the years to make the Straffordville Cemetery what it is today.
A: 55939 Heritage Line
Straffordville, ON N0J 1Y0