Annals of Graveyards

From my expert on the local graveyard scene, G., comes news that there are in the neighbourhood of 10,000 people buried in the “Elm Avenue Cemetary” on University Avenue in Charlottetown just down from the Metro Credit Union. This news came as a big shock to us: I would have guessed there were, say, 150 people buried there. But we did the math: 10,000 people taking up 12 square feet is 120,000 square feet. The lot is 350 feet square, or 122,500 square feet. Crowded, but possible.

By the way, courtesy of the Travel Channel, I just learned the meaning of “Potter’s Field” — a graveyard for “unknown or indigent persons.” I always thought it was a field where people working with clay hung out and made pots and mugs together.


Ken's picture
Ken on August 7, 2004 - 21:49 Permalink

Working with clay could be a euphomism for decomposure…

Mandy's picture
Mandy on August 8, 2004 - 03:02 Permalink

nothing makes me sadder then seeing those old graveyards being destroyed and damaged.. Not only are they someone’s resting place, but they are a museum to our history.

Like all those old headstones that were used as fill under that overcrowded, over-hyped boardwalk around Victoria Park. Disgraceful really.

Alan's picture
Alan on August 9, 2004 - 00:40 Permalink

Hint on the capacity question — the graveyard burials might not end where the surface grass meets the sidewalks or roadways. Pat grave diggers would not have consulted with later road builders.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on August 9, 2004 - 11:08 Permalink

As travellers will know, it is common in many other parts of the world to bury one deceased spouse or loved one above another, theoretically doubling available space for tenents. And, many places charge rent. If the families of the faithfully departed do not ante up, bodies are removed from the graveyard and placed in a common grave, or, as in Paris and Rome, a “catacombe” ( real treat to visit), which makes room for paying tenents.