Greenwood Cemetery


Greenwood Cemetery was established in 1850 when plots were sold by public auction. The Cemetery consists of 25 acres of land which provided adequate space for burials until 1898. Monuments that record deaths before 1850 when the cemetery was established, were moved to their present resting place.

The death records for Greenwood Cemetery provide a glimpse of historical events and notable people during the development of the City of Brantford. The cemetery contains monuments that represent a wide segment of society, from some of the City's most influential families, to a fugitive slave and victims of the cholera outbreak.

Rev. Peter Jones, an ordained Methodist Minister and Indian Missionary, introduced Christianity to the Chippewa and Mississauga Indians. He published an Ojibway spelling book in 1828; an Ojibway hymn book in 1829; the Gospel of St. Matthew translated into Ojibway language; the Gospel according to St. John translated into Chippewa language in 1831 and his history of the Ojibway Indians was published after his death.

While in England representing the Indians, Rev. Jones met Elizabeth Field and later they were married. They built a stately home in Brantford called "Echo Villa" at 743 Colborne Street East. Many prominent people in Canadian history visited their home such as the Governor-General Sir John Colborne.

The remarkable career of Rev. Jones was cut short by his death on June 29, 1856, at the age of 54. One year later on July 1, 1857, he was honoured as a great humanitarian with a gravestone in Greenwood Cemetery, placed by the Ojibway Indians as a token of their respect and appreciation for this man. All members of the Jones family are buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Andrew Lucas was born an American slave, on the estate of General Andrew Stonewall Jackson in Tennessee. At 40 years of age, Andrew Lucas as a fugitive slave, fled the United States into Canada at Black Rock, north of Fort Erie, Ontario. He was protected by a Custom's Officer.

During the war of 1812, he fought in the Battle of Queenston Heights and lived in the Niagara area before arriving in Brantford in 1845. Andrew Lucas was buried in Greenwood Cemetery on October 1, 1886. The white stone slab which marks his grave inscribes his age as 120 years, since there were no birth records, his exact age was not known.

Other members of Brantford's black community are buried in Greenwood Cemetery but the exact location and names are not known because many of their graves are not marked.

The first member of the Muirhead family, surgeon James Muirhead, came to North America in 1792 and settled in Niagara. John and Elizabeth Muirhead moved to Brantford in 1828 when it was all six Nations property and represented the first wave of urban settlers to the area. Their son James was the first purchaser of land after the town plot was surrendered by the Six Nations in 1830. William Muirhead, brother of James, was Brantford's first Mayor and also appointed Chief Magistrate in 1847. Several members of the Muirhead family are buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Alanson Harris started a farm implement factory in 1871 and later amalgamated in 1891 with Hart Massey to become Massey-Harris. This laid the foundation for what would become one of the largest agricultural establishments on the continent. Alanson Harris, along with several members of his family are buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Charles Waterous came to Brantford in 1845 to take charge of P.C. Van Brocklin's Foundry and continued it under his own management until 1877, when it became Waterous Engine Works Company. The business assumed gigantic proportions and the Waterous engines and saw mills were found throughout the world. Charles Waterous and other family members are buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Allen Cleghorn came to Brantford in 1847 and commenced the hardware business. He is known as the originanator of the movement for the erection of the Brant Monument, which now stands in Victoria Park. Mr. Cleghorn was also instrumental in the restoration of Mohawk Church and honoured for his services by the Indian tribes who made him a real chief named "Karawiho", meaning "Good News". Allen Cleghorn died in 1898 and buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Henry Yates was instrumental in the development of the Great Western Railway, which was later bought by the Grand Trunk Railway and finally by CN Rail. Yates was involved in a number of significant enterprises, including an engineering consulting and contracting firm and the Lubric Oil Works. He also held the position of Chief Engineer with the Grand Trunk Railway. Yates sat as a Town councillor from 1859 to 1862. Henry and his wife Emily resided at 15 Wynarden Court, which is locally known as Wynarden or "Yates Castle" until Henry's death in 1894. Members of the Yates family are buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Temporary hospitals were established in Brantford during the outbreak of cholera which reached the city by way of Irish immigrants travelling the route to London and westward. In 1878 large numbers of Irish immigrants fell victim to cholera and were buried in Toronto, Hamilton and Brantford. The number that died in Brantford is not known but there were long rows of graves in Greenwood Cemetery.

A comprehensive list of people buried in Greenwood Cemetery and a record of gravestone locations was compiled by the Brant County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. It was published for genealogical research and referred to as Publication No. C-98A/88.

The Chapel

The chapel was built Circa 1890. The use of the chapel declined when Greenwood Cemetery was nearing capacity and Mount Hope Cemetery opened for burials. Presently, the building is used as a storage facility for maintenance equipment and supplies.

The centre of the front facade contains a lancet arch entrance with a wooden door. The main entrance is flanked on each side by a lancet window. Above the entrance is another lancet opening that is bricked closed and all the openings have brick voussoirs. The gable wall with stepped sides has brick quoins and is further enhanced by a stepped parapet design formed by the raised brickwork. The roof has brown asphalt shingles and there is a single brick chimney protruding from the rear of the building.

There are three lancet windows with brick voussoirs on side right facade. A dog tooth course of bricks along the roof line. At the rear of this facade is another entrance into the building.

The left facade has two lancet windows with brick voussoirs and also has two entrances, one of which is a large opening that can accommodate maintenance equipment. There is a row of bricks laid in a dog tooth pattern below the roof line.

The rear wing has a flat roof and two rectangular windows that have been covered with wire mesh. The single storey wing was built without any decorative features.


None of these reasons for designation shall limit or interfere with the operation, maintenance and use of the subject lands, including but not limited to: the erection of markers, interments, landscaping and normal maintenance. The reasons for designation shall also not pertain to the rear wing of the Chapel.