Dating to the early 1900s, St. Matthew’s United Church Southside Cemetery is located on the eastern side of New Perlican Harbour, just north of the Hefford Plantation archaeological site, and west of Route 80 in New Perlican, NL. This grassy plot of land overlooks the ocean and contains approximately ten inscribed headstones. The designation is confined to the piece of land known as St. Matthew’s United Church Southside Cemetery.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
St. Matthew’s United Church Southside Cemetery has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of New Perlican due to its historic, aesthetic and spiritual values.
St. Matthew’s United Church Southside Cemetery has historic value for its association with the community’s settlers, in particular the Hefford family. The Heffords are believed to be the earliest permanent settlers to the community, appearing in Sir John Berry’s census of 1675, and their descendants still live at New Perlican. Records show that the other surnames on the headstones, namely Burrage, Howell, Matthews, Mitcham and White were present in New Perlican in the mid to late 1800s.
St. Matthew’s United Church Southside Cemetery has further historic value as a physical record of New Perlican’s history. It is the older of two United Church cemeteries in New Perlican and is one of a total of five cemeteries in the community. The surviving headstones contain historic and genealogical type information and may be considered artifacts on the community’s landscape. Most of the gravemarkers record death dates between 1911 and 1942, and it is possible that many other graves are unmarked. One headstone of note records the deaths of two brothers from the community, namely John and Peter Burrage. John was a member of the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve and died of an unspecified illness while in service onboard the SS Hyndford on November 19, 1918. He was buried in Cobh Old Church Cemetery, County Cork, Ireland. Five months later, on April 16, 1919, John’s brother Peter drowned. Both brothers are commemorated on the same stone.
St. Matthew’s United Church Southside Cemetery has aesthetic value due to its unique environmental setting. The cemetery is located along the shoreline of New Perlican Harbour and provides an impressive view of the community.
St. Matthew’s United Church Southside Cemetery has spiritual value due to its association with the United Church (known as the Methodist Church pre 1925) in New Perlican.
Source: Town of New Perlican Regular Council Meeting Motion #2008-64 June 10, 2008.
Character Defining Elements
Those elements which contribute to the site’s historic, aesthetic and spiritual value including:
-original memorial stones and monuments with their surviving inscriptions;
-positioning of grave markers;
-natural rose bushes;
-existence of fencing to contain the site;
-view to and from the cemetery from a variety of vantage points;
-location, orientation and dimensions of the cemetery, and;
-its association with the United Church.
12 names recorded on the 10 extant grave markers include:
John Burrage Died Nov 19, 1918 Aged 22 years
Peter Burrage Died April 16, 1919 Aged 28 years
James Hefford Died January 23, 1922 Aged 81 ½ years
Malcom J. Hefford Died June 20, 1918 Aged 21 years
Priscilla Hefford Died October 7, 1922 Aged 74 years
Sarah Hefford Died September 17, 1922 Aged 42 years
Christina Howell Died July 3, 1942 Aged 85 years
John Howell Died May 24, 1935 Aged 87 years
Peter James Matthews Died Apr 7, 1911 Aged 49 years
Patience Mitcham Died October 10, 1929 Aged 23 years 9 months
Reuben G. Mitcham Died January 8, 1930 Aged 33 years
Benjamin White Died November 22, 1928 Aged 32 years
Location and History
Town of New Perlican
1911 - 1942