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Haunted Mississauga 2005

Haunted Mississauga 2005:
Britannia United Cemetery

A small, rural, crossroads village developed around the intersection of Britannia Road and Hurontario Street. Many of this areas earliest settlers arrived around 1821. Among them were the Armstrong, Brown, Gardner, Johnston, Price, Reeve, Sibbald, Thompson and Wright families. The developing hamlet was originally dubbed “Gardner’s Clearing.” The first log church and school were built in 1821. The cemetery, established in 1837, and the surviving church, built in 1843, are on land donated to the congregation by Joseph Gardner.

Gardner’s Clearing also boasted a wagon shop, carpenter shop, a general store and a blacksmith shop. When the first post office opened in 1863, the community officially adopted the name “Britannia”, in honour of British imperial rule. The Britannia post office closed in 1915 when rural mail delivery began. Another familiar sight is the Britannia Schoolhouse, which was built in 1852. Many of the settlers in the Britannia area were Methodists and supporters of the reform movement in the 1830s.

During the Rebellion of 1837, many Britannia families showed strong solidarity with William Lyon Mackenzie; Robert Johnston was believed to have sheltered Mackenzie during his escape while Thomas Sibbald was one of the rebels who gathered at Montgomery’s Tavern. Our story focused on the Rebellion of 1837, and in particular the “interrogation” of people by Constable Amos Wilcox in hopes of discovering allegiances!

Special thanks to our sponsors: Long & McQuaide and Direct Disposal. Thank You to the 2nd Erin Mills Venturers, to Ben Madill and to the Trustees of the Britannia United Church, and to our “spirit team” of cast and crew: Doreen, Kurt, Ryan & Steven Armstrong, Terry Boyle, Pat Brown and Theatre Unlimited, Greg Carraro, Richard Collins, Sarah Cossette, Meaghan FitzGibbon, Evan & Brent Gaspar, Jayme Gaspar, Eric Gibson, Scott Gillies, Katherine Gutierrez, Amy Jaques, Rose Langley, Dusica Mladenovski, Matthew Wilkinson and Mavis Wilson.

© Mississauga Heritage 2009