Cemetery walk … if you dare

PICTOU — The first of what some people hope will be an annual cemetery walk to highlight the history of Laurel Hill Cemetery has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on October 27.

St. Clair Prest and a cast of characters will lead the historic walk through what is known as “the old burial ground” to visit the resting place of some of Pictou’s notable residents, including Dr. Thomas McCulloch.

“This is about our history,” Prest said. “ In cemeteries, you never know what or who you’ll meet and why they’re here. We’ll be looking at names of a lot of historical figures of Pictou. Hopefully, we’ll meet people who are no longer under the sod and are with us in spirit. There are a few famous and infamous people here.”

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The thrust of the project is to make more people aware of the cemetery’s significance in Pictou’s history and they may be compelled to improve conditions there. Prest noted it was 1829 before the cemetery was organized into plots.

“There are a lot of old headstones in great need of looking after,” he said. “We need to direct attention to the cemetery and put pressure on to get it repaired. It needs repair and it needs care.”

The event is taking place in partnership with Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library’s heritage program, said Bonnie Allan, who works at the Pictou Library.

“This is the first tour of the cemetery on its own,” she said, noting that it has been part of tours of other historical sites in town.

Pre-registration is required to confirm the number attending.

Up to 30 people can be accommodated for one tour, and a second tour can be arranged if numbers warrant. The tour will last between 60 and 90 minutes.

Those attending are being asked to ensure they dress appropriately.