St. Mary’s Parish Cemetery (Cimetière Paroisse Sainte-Marie) – Church Point
St. Mary’s Parish (Paroisse Sainte-Marie) currently has two main cemeteries; the oldest is located directly across the street from the entrance to Université-Sainte-Anne. The second, newer, cemetery is located on the ch. Patrice Road. Both are in the community of Church Point (Pointe-de-l’Église). Paroisse Sainte-Marie (St. Mary’s Parish) encompasses the communities of Grosses Coques, Church Point (Pointe-de-l’Église), Little Brook (Petit Ruisseau) and Comeauville.
These were not the first cemeteries at Church Point (Pointe-de-l’Église). In 1786, a church and possibly a rectory were built under the direction of the visiting missionary, Père Mathurin Bourg, on a long rocky point of land that extended into Baie-Sainte-Marie (hence the name Pointe-de-l’Église). Père Bourg also blessed a plot of land adjacent to the church for a cemetery. It is believed that, at that time, the main road followed the Bay much more closely than it does now.
The parish population grew, and, along with the threats posed by the high tides and strong winds, it was decided that a new, larger church and cemetery should be built at some distance away from the Bay. The choice of location was not without controversy.1 In any case, the new church was built by 1808 under the direction of Père Jean-Mandé Sigogne (on the site of the present cemetery) and an acre of land adjacent to the church was blessed for a cemetery. In 1820, a major fire destroyed the church and rectory. Today, although the magnificent St. Mary’s Church built in 1905 is located across the street, the the old cemetery still stands on the original site of the original 1808 church and cemetery.
1 Deveau, J. Alphonse. Chicaben ou Pointe-de-l’Église: de l’époque indienne à nos jours, Wedgeport, Nova Scotia, Les Éditions Lescarbot, 1999.
2 Deveau, Alphonse. La Ville Française, Québec, Les Éditions Ferland, 1968