OTTAWA, October 16, 2023 – On Thursday, October 12, the third and final reinterment service for Barrack Hill Cemetery was held at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa. This service laid to rest the final remains originally uncovered in 2013 and 2016 during construction excavation in the City’s downtown core.
This multi-faith service was attended by delegates from the City of Ottawa, including Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, representatives from the Canadian Museum of History, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall, the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, and St. Andrew’s Church, Ottawa. It follows two previous events that were held in October 2017 and October 2019.
Since the remains were uncovered, specialists at the Canadian Museum of History, led by archaeologist Janet Young, have carried out extensive archaeological research. This research has allowed for a greater understanding of those who lived and worked in Bytown nearly 200 years ago. A series of blog posts on this work can be found on historymuseum.ca.
“Today we paid homage and laid to rest seven individuals who were among some of Bytown’s leaders and founders with the hope of finding work and a home to raise their families in our nation’s young capital. We offer our thanks to them and the researchers at the Canadian Museum of History for helping to provide us with a glimpse of what life was like for many of Bytown’s first residents,” said Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe. “I would encourage residents to visit this site and learn the rich history of our nation’s capital,” Sutcliffe added.
“I have had the privilege of becoming acquainted with some of the first settlers to Ottawa, then Bytown. Though they were left behind in a cemetery that became engulfed by a burgeoning city, their remains speak of nutritional, physical, and health challenges that plagued the working class of the day,” said Janet Young, Curator, Physical Anthropology (Canadian Museum of History). “Though they were once forgotten, they can now be remembered for their strength, persistence, and contribution to the growth of a city that became the capital of Canada,” said Young.
More information about Barrack Hill Cemetery is available on the Beechwood Cemetery website.
lead image by Mayor Mark Sutcliffe twitter account see post above