Elim Pioneer Cemetery is one of the best kept secrets in the City of Oshawa. It has but one headstone left and the rest are now gone. And it has just a single tall epitaph marker at the entry point by the woods. Transcriptions are reprinted from an older reading at the Oshawa & District Historical Society. The cemetery is hidden from the road behind trees and appears to have been a private burying ground with a church right beside it in the 1800's. It was located at the SE corner of Henry Graham's farmstead.
Directions to Cemetery:
NW side of Wilson Road and Concession 6 (Winchester Rd.) of the former township of East Whitby, now part of the City of Oshawa.
The City of Oshawa has industrial land plans for this area called the Kedron zone. Elim Cemetery is one of the historical sites to be preserved in this planned zone.
As I walked into the ground its hard to imagine skeletons were below my feet.
Here are the names that once appeared on the former grave markers:
GRAHAM Robert Henry
STEPHENS Mahala G.
The only remaining headstone marker, which is in front of the tall cemetery epitaph marker is that of Elizabeth Postil. From what I can make out using the zoom feature on Windows Picture it says:
"Elizabeth daughter of William & Sarah Postil, who died May 22 1863, Aged 17 yrs 1 mos.
Farewell my friends and parents dear.
I am not dead but sleeping here.
My God took me when I was young.
Weep not his will it must be done."
Thanks to Trish for finding these details about Elizabeth, and I quote,"After 2 days of searching through Census Records etc .. for the woman who is buried in Elim Cemetery ... I just found her!!!
I hadn't found the Postil family in the 1861 Census at first because the person who transcribed their name spelled it incorrectly .. so ...
It is in fact Anne Elizabeth Postil is the young woman buried at Elim Cemetery.
As it turns out ...
William was born in England about 1821 as was Sarah. They emigrated here sometime before 1846 as Anna, their oldest child, was born in Upper Canada. I suspect they came to Canada along with two of William's brothers, Stephen, who settled in Vaughan as a servant, and James, who settled in York. James and his wife Margret had three children, including Sarah Ann Postil.
In the 1851 Census of Canada, William is listed as a farmer in the township of Whitby.
in the 1861 Census of Canada, the family is listed as living in a 1 1/2 story frame house in East Whitby. Elizabeth Postil, who would die two years later, is listed as Anne E. Postil. I have attached a copy of the census page for this year.
What created the confusion was that they also had another daughter whom they named Eliza. Eliza married after the death of Anne. There are no death records before 1869 unfortunately, so I was unable to find Anne's cause of death.
I am assuming from the 1871 census that the Postil family was farming on the property owned by John Lee, who had four different parcels of land in the area of Elim Cemetery.
Sometime between 1871 and 1881, the Postil family packed up and moved to Lambton. Eliza and Frederick married and settled locally. The rest of their children had followed and had settled down, had children, and were farming near their parents.
In the 1901 census, William and Sarah were no longer farming and were living in the home of their son George.
William died on the 11th of March, 1905. His cause of death is listed as Senile Debility. Sarah died just a few months later on the 13th of October 1905 of Senile Paralysis. William was listed in the death records as being a Farmer, on lot 7 concession 2 in the County of Lambton, township of Enniskillen.
They were so lucky to have lived such a long life together .. they were both 83 at the time of their deaths. It must have been so difficult losing a child at the age of 17, however. I can't imagine.
I haven't yet found the Cemetery transcripts for Elim. That is my next step."
January 2011- In 2010 a lady, Carola Vyhnak, came upon this info. She writes for the Toronto Star. Due to my interest in this place she wrote an article about Neads Farmstead as well as 2 other locations I have posted on this site. I put a lot of hours into this passion of mine. It's nice to see I am reaching people with our forgotten history. Anyways, here is her article: http://mobile.thestar.com/mobile/NEWS/article/843141
It does kind of hurt though that Trish and I were not credited in the article. We put a lot of time and effort into this location and its history.