Colonel Hamilton's grave in Mount Royal Cemetery

Left:Colonel Hamilton's lot in cemetery, Montreal, QC. about 1901

Right: Colonel Hamilton's grave in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal, QC. After Notman (VIEW - 8760) Taken July 29th 2000 at 12:15 p.m.

Photographers: Left: William Notman, Right: Andrzej Maciejewski
McCord Museum of Canadian History

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.


Date/Time: July 29, 2000, 12:15 p.m.

Even cemeteries experience change. The tree in the middle has grown, new ones have sprung up, and pieces of the gravestone have disappeared. While lining up my camera I realized that the stone had moved since Notman photographed it, either leaning or sinking into the ground. In the space of time between my first visit and the day I took my photograph the small cross, which had been leaning against the tree, was set back in place, but in the wrong direction. By remarkable coincidence, this lot is located right next to Notman's grave.
Date/Time: July 29, 2000, 12:15 p.m.

Even cemeteries experience change. The tree in the middle has grown, new ones have sprung up, and pieces of the gravestone have disappeared. While lining up my camera I realized that the stone had moved since Notman photographed it, either leaning or sinking into the ground. In the space of time between my first visit and the day I took my photograph the small cross, which had been leaning against the tree, was set back in place, but in the wrong direction. By remarkable coincidence, this lot is located right next to Notman's grave.

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Map

This Map of Montreal depicts the location where the photographs by Notman and Maciejewski were taken.

McCord Museum of Canadian History

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.


This photograph was taken shortly after the burial of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry McKay. Deceased in October 1904, McKay lies beside his wife, Julia Eliza, née Hamilton, who died in 1893, and George W. Hamilton, a stockbroker who died in 1897. The smaller monuments are in memory of very young children, including "Baby Beryl" under his little marble cross.

The tree sums up this cemetery, which was designed from the beginning as an English-style rural garden. It was a serene, rural place of rest, suitable for walks. Between the summits of Mount Royal Park, there were several ideal little valleys. To the Protestant cemetery on Mount Royal, created in 1852, were added the Catholic Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery, which was very large, laid out in 1855, and the cemeteries for the three synagogues: Shearith Israel, Spanish and Portuguese in origin (in 1852), Shaar Hashomayim and Temple Emanu-El (1890). All the religions present on the mountain in 1900 offered the members of their congregations a peaceful final resting place, in expectation of resurrection, the Last Judgment and eternal life.
This photograph was taken shortly after the burial of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry McKay. Deceased in October 1904, McKay lies beside his wife, Julia Eliza, née Hamilton, who died in 1893, and George W. Hamilton, a stockbroker who died in 1897. The smaller monuments are in memory of very young children, including "Baby Beryl" under his little marble cross.

The tree sums up this cemetery, which was designed from the beginning as an English-style rural garden. It was a serene, rural place of rest, suitable for walks. Between the summits of Mount Royal Park, there were several ideal little valleys. To the Protestant cemetery on Mount Royal, created in 1852, were added the Catholic Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery, which was very large, laid out in 1855, and the cemeteries for the three synagogues: Shearith Israel, Spanish and Portuguese in origin (in 1852), Shaar Hashomayim and Temple Emanu-El (1890). All the religions present on the mountain in 1900 offered the members of their congregations a peaceful final resting place, in expectation of resurrection, the Last Judgment and eternal life.
Printed Documents
  • Continuité : Le mont Royal, nature urbaine. 2001. Vol. 90 (Fall).
  • Dauth, chanoine Gaspard, and abbé Perron. 1900. Le Diocèse de Montréal à la fin du dix-neuvième siècle : Avec portraits du clergé, hélio-gravures et notices historiques de toutes les églises et presbytères, institutions d'éducation et de charité, sociétés de bienfaisance, oeuvres de fabrique et commissions scolaires. Pref. by Raphaël Bellemare. Montreal : Eusèbe Sénécal.
  • Marsan, Jean-Claude. 1994. Montréal en évolution : Historique du développement de l'architecture et de l'environnement urbain montréalais. Montreal : Éditions du Méridien.
  • Mondou, Siméon. 1887. The First Catholic Cemeteries of Montreal and a Guide to the Present Cemetery. Montreal: Eusèbe Sénécal.
On-Line Documents
  • Mount-Royal Cemetery Website. [On Line]. http://mountroyalcem.com (Pages accessed in January 2002).
  • Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Website. [On Line]. http://www.cimetierenddn.org (Pages accessed in January 2002).
Miscellaneous
  • Inscriptions on tombstones, monuments and buildings in the Mount-Royal, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, Shearith Israel, Shaar Hashomayin and Temple Emanu-El cemeteries ; records of the Mount-Royal and Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemeteries ; oral information provided by rabbis and ministers.

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Stone commemorating 6000 immigrant deaths

The Black Rock was placed in 1859 near the entrance of the Victoria Bridge, in the middle of a cemetery where thousands of Irish immigrants were buried, victims of typhus in 1847-1848. In 1902, after the cemetery was moved, the commemorative monument was placed in St. Patrick Square, beside the Lachine Canal. It was, however, returned to the entrance of the bridge in 1912, where it remains to this day.

Alfred Walter Roper
McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mr. Vennor Roper

Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
12 x 10 cm
MP-1977.76.64
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


Mount Royal Cemetery

The wooded valleys, lawns, groves of trees, ponds and winding roads made the Mount Royal Cemetery, photographed here in 1895, a garden cemetery of typical rural character. Among the symbols that adorn the tombstones are crosses, like those on the Hamilton lot. However, it was urns that predominated, even though there are almost none in this picture. Urns, which originated in ancient times, symbolized the final earthly resting place. In the background, Molson's mausoleum dominates the cemetery.

Wm. Notman & Son
McCord Museum of Canadian History - Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
c. 1895
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
VIEW-2555
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


The grim reaper.

At the turn of the 20th century, illness and death hover nearby, threatening particularly the underprivileged children in urban areas. In these difficult times, newspapers devote full-page spreads to the merits of remedies that claim to provide miraculous cures. But medicine has its limits, and people succumb in great numbers. The memory of the deceased is accorded full respect. People don the appropriate mourning attire, and the removal of the body is accompanied by the proper rites and customs. People seek, moreover, to keep a few durable souvenirs of their beloved. These may include, for example, a posthumous photograph or a momento fashioned from the person's hair.
The grim reaper.

At the turn of the 20th century, illness and death hover nearby, threatening particularly the underprivileged children in urban areas. In these difficult times, newspapers devote full-page spreads to the merits of remedies that claim to provide miraculous cures. But medicine has its limits, and people succumb in great numbers. The memory of the deceased is accorded full respect. People don the appropriate mourning attire, and the removal of the body is accompanied by the proper rites and customs. People seek, moreover, to keep a few durable souvenirs of their beloved. These may include, for example, a posthumous photograph or a momento fashioned from the person's hair.

© McCord Museum of Canadian History

Model of Hearse

The coffins were decorated with different colours according to the age of the deceased. Hearses for adults were black, and those for children were white.

McCord Museum of Canadian History - Purchase from Mr. John L. Russell
c. 1865-1875
55 x 27 cm
M990.674.1
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


This scale model of the type of hearse used in Quebec around 1870 belonged to an undertaker who used it to present his various models

In Quebec, a tradition established in 1684 forbade the transportation of the dead in coaches. Out of respect for the deceased, men carried the coffins from the home - where the body had usually lain in state - to the church. Widely observed in the city, this tradition nevertheless caused problems in the country, where the often long roads sometimes had a few steep hills.

To remedy these problems, many parishes acquired, beginning in 1850, hearses that they made available to families. Many trades were involved in making hearses: the vehicle was built by wheelwrights or carriage makers, and sculptors carved the ornamentation.
This scale model of the type of hearse used in Quebec around 1870 belonged to an undertaker who used it to present his various models

In Quebec, a tradition established in 1684 forbade the transportation of the dead in coaches. Out of respect for the deceased, men carried the coffins from the home - where the body had usually lain in state - to the church. Widely observed in the city, this tradition nevertheless caused problems in the country, where the often long roads sometimes had a few steep hills.

To remedy these problems, many parishes acquired, beginning in 1850, hearses that they made available to families. Many trades were involved in making hearses: the vehicle was built by wheelwrights or carriage makers, and sculptors carved the ornamentation.

© McCord Museum of Canadian History

Mourning Bonnet and Veil

This type of mourning bonnet, with its point in the front, was very popular from the 1820s to the 1900s.

McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mme Armand Mathieu
c. 1904
10 x 94 cm
M972.123.11
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


This widow’s bonnet must have been worn for a certain time after the death of the husband. In fact, the white trim on the black ribbon likely indicates that this was not worn during deep mourning.

In the 19th century, mourning dress was very codified. The first phase, called "deep mourning" was very austere: only crêpe and black were permitted. After this period, the severity of the clothing was reduced and details of ornamentation and other colours were gradually reintroduced.

About two years after the death, the period of half mourning began, and, after six months, grey, lilac, violet or black and white clothing and accessories were considered appropriate. Queen Victoria (1819-1901) had a strong influence on her period by remaining in mourning for her husband from the age of 42 until the end of her life. Of course, not all women had the means to dress according to the rules of etiquette, whether they were in mourning or not.
This widow’s bonnet must have been worn for a certain time after the death of the husband. In fact, the white trim on the black ribbon likely indicates that this was not worn during deep mourning.

In the 19th century, mourning dress was very codified. The first phase, called "deep mourning" was very austere: only crêpe and black were permitted. After this period, the severity of the clothing was reduced and details of ornamentation and other colours were gradually reintroduced.

About two years after the death, the period of half mourning began, and, after six months, grey, lilac, violet or black and white clothing and accessories were considered appropriate. Queen Victoria (1819-1901) had a strong influence on her period by remaining in mourning for her husband from the age of 42 until the end of her life. Of course, not all women had the means to dress according to the rules of etiquette, whether they were in mourning or not.

© McCord Museum of Canadian History

Medecine Chest

This chest contains a set of medicine bottles and a few tools, including a knife, a measuring cup, a mortar and pestle, a spatula, a spoon and a syringe.

McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mrs. William R. Bentham

16.5 x 26.2 x 19 cm
M21681.1-2
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


This chest was probably used to treat the sick during the second half of the 19th century. The label on the bottle in the foreground of the photograph indicates that the liquid it contains prevents cholera and diarrhea. The remedy was apparently developed by a certain Dr. Dwight.

At the time in Montreal, illness was common and the rate of infant mortality was very high. And although this period was marked by many medical and therapeutic discoveries, practices changed only very slowly. In fact, many medicines at the time relieved the symptoms of illnesses without dealing with their causes.

The remedies, which were available as syrups, powders, pills, wines, ointments, suppositories, infusions, tablets or injections, were made of substances as varied as plants, alcohol, mercury, antimony, arsenic salts, morphine, codeine, opium and zinc chloride .
This chest was probably used to treat the sick during the second half of the 19th century. The label on the bottle in the foreground of the photograph indicates that the liquid it contains prevents cholera and diarrhea. The remedy was apparently developed by a certain Dr. Dwight.

At the time in Montreal, illness was common and the rate of infant mortality was very high. And although this period was marked by many medical and therapeutic discoveries, practices changed only very slowly. In fact, many medicines at the time relieved the symptoms of illnesses without dealing with their causes.

The remedies, which were available as syrups, powders, pills, wines, ointments, suppositories, infusions, tablets or injections, were made of substances as varied as plants, alcohol, mercury, antimony, arsenic salts, morphine, codeine, opium and zinc chloride .

© McCord Museum of Canadian History

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Identify the changes that were operated within Canadian society over two decades (territory, population, economy, etc.);
  • Describe in details changes that he/she is able to observe;
  • Explain and speculate about the reasons that could justify these changes;
  • Make connections between the differences and similarities of the two eras.

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