Scane Cemetery

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By Mrs. Charles Welbury Scane

The Scane's cemetery is located on the east side of Scane's Sideroad and a few steps south of the Ridge Road. It was formerly the property of John Scane the First, and was given by him for this purpose. He was Ridgetown's second white settler, Mr William Marsh being the first, the Mitton's the third, then the Watson's came some time afterwards.

The Scane family came out as Protestant missionaries from Yorkshire, England bringing with them several score Bibles. It took fourteen weeks to make the trip and they were very sick and weary. One of the family never survived the trip, passing away shortly after arriving in Canada.

The Scane family consisted of John Scane 1st, his wife Bessie (Mitton) Scane, his aged father Thomas and his esteemed wife, John's brother Thomas and two sisters, Jane and Bessie. Jane married Ebenezer Colby and Jane and Ebenezer Streets in Ridgetown were named after them. Bessie married a Mr. Hartwick and she became the grandmother of Mr. Harv. Lumley or Bessie Hartwick. A sister Ellen also came over but did not weather the storm of the Atlantic, and died soon after her arrival in Canada.

They arrived here in the fall of 1818, settling near St. Thomas, and came to Ridgetown in 1822. John's thoughts were to preach the gospel, administer to the sick and dying, better conditions and surroundings, all this they did without limit and to a marked degree of satisfaction, holding church services and Sunday school in their log cabin. He helped to finance the building of each Methodist church built. He died one year after the erection of Ridgetown's present church in 1876. Two of the Bibles dating back to August 10,1764, still remain in the family of the late Charles Welbury Scane, who departed this life on September 30,1943.

Mr. John Scane was a devout Christian gentleman and enjoyed the respect of all, being dearly beloved by his family and friends and his word was considered as good as his bond. In a short time he found a cemetery was a necessity as his mother and father were buried on their own farm just across the road from what is now Scane's cemetery. Mrs. Thomas Scane was buried first and then Mr. Scane. One year later this cemetery was reverently and solemnly dedicated as God's acre by a travelling minister, as there were no permanent ministers in these parts at that time. His name was Rev. Mugridge (his first name I do not know). The remains of Thomas Scane and his wife were transferred to the family cemetery, where all the Scanes and their relatives could be buried if they so wished.

The oldest marked grave that I could find is dated 1824 There are one hundred and thirty-nine marked graves as well as a large number of unmarked ones. Mr. Mathew Wilson of Chatham, some years ago on a history visit to our cemetery, said it was the oldest cemetery in Kent County or this part of the country. He had found markers there to prove his statement. Some years later the old rail fence was replaced by the present one, which was made possible through donations from each of the Scane families.

All the older heirs of the five generations bearing the name of Scane are buried there with the exception of Charles Welbury Scane, who is burled in Greenwood cemetery, Ridgetown. The last graves opened in the old cemetery were for John Scane 2nd, son of John the 1st and Bessie (Mitton) Scane, and the husband of the late Catherine (Marsh) Scane, who died on April 22, l901, at the age of seventy-seven years. The next was John Charles Scane, son of Welbury and Nellie R. Scane, who died September 22,l908, at the age of two years and four months. In June 1909 Jane Scane Toll of Troy was buried there, she was the oldest living member of the Scane family and this closed the first chapter of the old family. Jane Toll was a daughter of John and Bessie (Mitton) Scane, Ridgetown's third white settler. In January 1916 Euna Pyne was buried there and she was the last buried in the cemetery.

This history is as it was told to me by my deceased husband Charles Welbury Scane, and his aged aunt, Jane Scane Toll at the age of ninety-two years. She has been deceased for thirty-seven years. They had good memories, their minds were clear and their words could be relied upon. The rest came from old history we have in the family.

Mrs. Charles Welbury Scane

(ca. 1946)

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Transcribed from the records of Mrs. Geo. S. Brien, Rural Ridgetown Women's Institute.