This interesting monument was erected to commemorate the early pioneers originally interred in the Guelph Public Burying Ground (the location of the Baker Street Parking Lot), who were moved to Woodlawn in 2006. Found during construction in the fall of 2005, it was originally thought that the remains of only two people would be discovered. However, upon further investigation, the remains of another 14 people have been uncovered and they will be re-interred in Woodlawn with this monument marking their new resting place.
The monument is made of African black granite. Designed by Ceska Brennan, the Counselor and Memorialist at Woodlawn, the stone tells the story of Guelph from its earliest days, when John Galt used an axe to fell the first tree, to the cemetery where the stone stands today. There are more than 25 elements, symbols of Guelph's growth, its people and landmarks. And the fly on the handle of the axe? Well, wouldn't you have like to be a fly on the wall as all these years went by? To have been there, not to be seen, but to quietly observe as history happened? The pioneer memorial is in Lilac Block, located at the south-west corner of the cemetery. Please cross the railway tracks carefully. The monument is on the right.
The Guelph Burying grounds existed from 1827 until 1853 when they were closed and the remains moved to the Union/St. George cemetery (Woodlawn). The bodies were removed over a period of years. Many though, did not have visible markers and records were not as precise as the records we keep today. There was always the possibility that remains may have been missed. A thorough, professional search of the Baker Street area was conducted this summer. The remains uncovered during this search will be re-interred in Woodlawn. Please watch for notices of the interment so that you can attend this historical event.