St. James United Church Cemetery
Stone #1:Dimensions: 12'8" in height
Inscription: There are incised inscriptions on two panels of the obelisk. The panel facing east is dedicated to Hugh McDonald and reads as follows: "In memory of/Hugh McDonald/Of Elmbank/A native of the Parish of/Lairg, Sutherland Shire/Having served his-----(this word is not legible)/By the will of God, he fell asleep/June 23, 1867 aged 76./I shall be satisfied when I/Awake with thy likeness/Psal. XVII. 15/. The second panel, facing north is devoted to his wife, Ellen McDonald: "Also his wife/Ellen/A native of the island/Of Lewis/Who died March 16, 1867/Aged 78/The master is come and calleth/For thee, as soon as she heard/That, she arose and came unto him./John XI, 2829./" There are no inscriptions on the other two panels. There is a separate foot stone for Ellen McDonald with the initials, E. McD.
Carver: Not identified
Condition: Overall, this stone is in good condition, although there is evidence of deterioration. The white marble panels are discoloured and covered with small cracks and moss.
This imposing tombstone is an obelisk-shaped monument, with its tapering shaft and pyramidal top. It is made of grey sandstone with four white marble panels, two of which contain inscriptions. The stone consists of four distinct sections. Decorative motifs are minimal. Outrivalling adjacent monuments in height, it is the tombstone's size that captures the viewer's attention. Its inscriptions also differ markedly from the abbreviated epitaphs of an earlier era. They contain biblical passages and provide information about place of origin. In short, this stone stands as a commemorative emblem of faith and affluence.
Hugh McDonald was a man of both prominence and wealth. Based in Lower South River, this Scottish Presbyterian merchant operated a store as well as a number of mills and oversaw his own personal estate called Elmbank. He was reputed to rank among the wealthiest men in Antigonish County, although a disastrous partnership in a Halifax wholesale dry goods business substantially drained him of his fortune.
Stone #9:Dimensions: 4'6" in height, 2'11" wide, and 3'1/2" thick
Inscription: James Wilkie/In Memory of Mrs./Elizabeth Wilkie,/Who died on the 29th/Jany 1832, and of Alex/Smith Wilkie, her/Infant son who died/On the 8th Octr. 1830/Being 32 days old/
Carver: Not identified
Condition: No major tilt or break. Some green moss and lichen covered surface. Well preserved except for one deep crack on the right side and a few smaller cracks and pitting on surface.
This grey standstone marker is crested by one large incised rosette flanked by two smaller ones; all three rosettes are enclosed in roundels. The rosette, consisting of five or more petals, was a popular ornament on Scottish tombstones and in this instance, symbolized Wilkie's Scottish origins. There are two decorative vertical lines incised on each side of the headstone and the space allocated to James Wilkie's name is indented. The stone's decorative detailing features no overt religious imagery, although its shape echoes that of a portal or door.
The Scottish-born James Wilkie was a prominent local merchant. In 1827, his seven-person included two male servants and two female servants. He also boasted sixty acres of cultivated land, along with a horse, twenty horned cattle, three sheep and three swine. Wilkie married twice; Elizabeth Trotter, daughter of the Rev. Thomas Trotter, in 1830 and Annie E. McDonald, sister of Dr. William MacDonald, in 1835.
Orientation: The stone faces west towards the street in marked contrast to the predominant east/west orientation of most tombstones in St. James cemetery.
Inscription: The inscription on the front reads: "In Loving/Memory of/The Reverend/Thomas/Trotter/1782-1855". Further down, it continues: "This monument was/Erected by the/Congregation." The reverse side reads: "In Loving/Memory of/ELIZABETH/Wife of Rev. Thomas/TROTTER/1783-1866"
Carver: Signed R.a.M'Kim on the bottom
Condition: This monument type of marker is in excellent condition. However, thescriptural verse on the side dedicated to Elizabeth Trotter is illegible.
This handsome marble monument with its red-brown sandstone base differs significantly from other stones in St. James Cemetery. It does not conform to the popular door or portal type. Moreover, the elaborate detailing such as the crown, epitomizing the heavenly crown, and the thistle motif, emblematic of Scotland, presents a striking contrast to the plain austerity of early 19th-century grave markers. Clearly, this stone was a fitting tribute for Trotter and reflected his congregation's respect and pride.
The Rev. Thomas Trotter settled with his family in Antigonish in June 1818. As the clergyman at St. James, he served Antigonish Presbyterians for thirty-seven years. He is better known as a prominent farmer and landowner, supervising an estate called "Hawthorne Farm" on the crest of the hill on Hawthorne Street and extending towards Brooklyn Street. He owned a number of houses and barns and was probably the first farmer in Antigonish to provide houses for his hired help. The censuses for 1827 and 1838 document Trotter's triumphant ascent. In 1827, it was noted that the Trotter household consisted of six persons. At this time, Trotter had fifty acres of cultivated land. Just over a decade later, the household doubled and the total amount of cleared acreage soared to 240 acres. The census for 1838 further notes that Trotter's assets included 120 acres of uncleared land, forty cattle, five horses, forty five sheep and twenty one pigs.
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