You can’t see it, but there’s something happening beneath the hall at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Kingston.
That part of the property is currently undergoing a cultural resource inventory. It’s not the cleanest of jobs and you’re working in cramped quarters with no air conditioning to be found.
Yet the work continues, and those doing it are embracing the challenge. Sue Bazely is the project coordinator.
“It’s not an excavation,” Bazely explained. “We’re cleaning. We’re cleaning up all the loose debris that has accumulated over the years.
“We’re cleaning up all of the garbage that’s been deposited underneath this structure since 1872 and restoring the dignity to this portion of the Lower Burial Ground.”
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The Lower Burial Ground is one of the oldest consecrated cemeteries in Ontario, but over time it’s been eaten up by things like the church hall and a parking lot. Those doing the work “dig” history and are finding something different with each passing day.
Paulina Marczak is the assistant project coordinator.
“There’s various sources of information and knowledge that all come together to show different pieces of what was here and what still is here,” Marczak explained.
“And I think it is also important to people who have lived in the past and learn a little bit about their history.
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The project is sponsored by the Lower Burial Ground Restoration Society with financial assistance from the City of Kingston’s heritage fund. Bazely says the end goal is to make the findings digitally accessible through the website.
They’re also looking at other platforms and opportunities where it can be made digitally accessible.