Marker Styles at Ross Bay Cemetery

The styles of markers at Ross Bay Cemetery cover a wide range of influences and forms. You can find upright gravestone markers (stellae), flat in-ground markers, elaborate mausoleums and tall pillars.

In the late 1800s when Ross Bay Cemetery opened, there was a trend to large, opulent markers for those who could afford them. This is easily seen in the grave of Sir James Douglas.

Also common were many of the elements that can be seen in Mary Laetitia Pearse’s grave. There you can see a plain, upright marker in front a vault with a ledger-stone cover, all surrounded by curbing (the stone edge around the plot).

For the less wealthy, the usual form of marker was a simple stone tablet or a wooden headboard. There were many wooden markers around Ross Bay Cemetery in the early days, but wood decays, and the last surviving wooden marker was replaced in 1983 with a stone one. Below is the original and a replica that we have made.

Until the turn of the century, curbing was common around graves. Either curbing or a grave fence would normally be erected around a plot, and often both. By the 1920s, large monuments started to go out of fashion, with a more subdued, flat-in-the-ground marker becoming standard. This minimalist style still remains. Due to the cost of maintaining a modern cemetery, many cemeteries allow only flat, in-ground markers.

This has not stopped some families from coming up with unique styles to remember their loved ones. Examples can be seen in modern, innovative or one-of-a-kind styles in Ross Bay Cemetery, such as the Danish anchor, the tribute to Fred the Fireman or the giant clam shell.