Farewell Cemetery Site

The Farewell Cemetery is located on the southeast corner of Harmony Road and King Street East.  The property was donated by Mr. Moody Farewell to be used as a private burial ground for the Farewell family and their relatives.

The earliest know burial is dated 1815.  The final burial was that of a baby, David Farewell, on April 1, 1941.

In 1956, the City of Oshawa became the owner of the Farewell Pioneer Cemetery taken from the estate of Carlston Harmon.  In a Lieutenant Governor Order in Council dated March 12, 1968, the cemetery was officially closed to further burials.

In September of 1979, a cairn was unveiled commemorating those buried in the cemetery and their impact on the growth of Oshawa.  The cairn contained embedded headstones that were considered displaced.

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Prior to the pending expansion of Harmony Road in 1992, the City of Oshawa contacted Archaeological Services Inc. to determine the impact this expansion might have on the cemetery.  The City was aware that at some point in time, headstones from the cemetery were located within the road allowance.  Although the cemetery had been closed since 1968, there was no evidence that any of the remains had been moved, just the headstones when the memorial was constructed in 1979.

The initial excavations unearthed 36 gravesites outside of the cemetery boundaries and within the road allowance.  The planned expansion of the road and sidewalks would disturb several of these graves located outside of the cemetery.  It was also noted that these burials had previously been disturbed.

Before the work was commenced, the cemetery had to be proclaimed an “unapproved cemetery” by the Provincial Registrar of Cemeteries.  This occurred in July 1993, permitting the Region to proceed with the relocation of the human remains.

Once approval was received the decision was made that the remains would be moved into the cemetery boundaries. On  July 27,  1993,  the  disinterment   work  began  and  was  completed  a month later.  Reinterment took place on September 3, 1993.  The physical remains and personal effects were placed inside concrete vaults and reburied.

Items that were not associated with a particular burial, such as brass coffin handles, viewing window fragments and coffin plates, were transferred to the Oshawa Community Museum to care for.  The items have been displayed on two different occasions, the most recent being highlighted during our Mourning After: The Victorian Celebration of Death exhibit in 2009.

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