Field Trip Friday : Montreal’s Ville-Marie Cemetery

Ville-Marie cemetery excavation, Pointe-à-Callière Museum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; 2015.
Ville-Marie cemetery excavation, Pointe-à-Callière Museum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; 2015.

On a trip last week to Montreal, Canada I had the opportunity to view the partially excavated cemetery of Ville-Marie which lies beneath the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, the city’s museum of archaeology. What makes this cemetery special is that it is, according to a museum guide, the oldest Catholic cemetery in Canada. The cemetery dates from its first burial in 1643, one year after the settlement’s founding by a French missionary society. There are no extant grave markers; however, the burial register survived listing thirty-eight individuals including Europeans, Natives, as well as those born in the colony.

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