From its perch atop Bonnie Brae Point, the Port Oshawa Pioneer Cemetery overlooks Lakeview Park, which was once home to many of those interred within. Members of the Henry, Guy, and Robinson families, whose homes still stand within the park, are buried here.
The Cemetery was originally located to the east of the harbour but was relocated to Bonnie Brae Point to facilitate harbour expansion. The oldest grave marker is that of Nancy Henry, buried in 1816. However, it is suspected that some of the unmarked burials may date as far back as 1800, making the Port Oshawa Pioneer Cemetery the city’s oldest cemetery.
The move to Bonnie Brae Point occurred in 1975, when the remains of 195 people and 60 accompanying grave markers were relocated. Unfortunately, only 123 bodies were identified, meaning that 72 remain unknown. During the move it was noted that Benjamin Wilson, Oshawa’s first settler, was missing his grave marker. He is commemorated at the new site with a memorial stone place by the Oshawa Historical Society.
A plaque in the cemetery explains that the point was selected to be the new site of the cemetery as the location, “… ensures that the waves of Lake Ontario will continue to sound a requiem to the early settlers and their progeny here interred.”