Hidden in plain sight of the hundreds, perhaps thousands of daily passers-by, remnants of a forgotten Victorian village hide in plain sight.
On the corner of two trucking lanes, lost in a concrete jungle of fast food restaurants and shops, the Trinity Wesleyan Cemetery is all that is left of the Hamlet of Hanlan.
This small village was founded around 1830 and contained a blacksmiths, carpenter shop, tinsmith, shoemaker, general store, post office, church and school. It was formally given its name in 1870 in honour of Canadian oarsman Edward (Ned) Hanlan. Although the village no longer exists, Ned’s name is still remembered today by the Hanlan Pumping Station by the cemetery.
By the early 1920s the community of Hanlan was slowly fading. Many of the businesses had either folded or relocated to more populated areas. Transportation improvements meant the village received less traffic which unfortunately meant less customers. The post office and general store closed in 1911, followed by the blacksmith in 1923 this was around the same time as the church which was sadly torn down in 1946.
The schoolhouse remained in use until 1957 and was later torn down in 1970. Bit by bit, the small village sadly disappeared.
There are 63 people buried in this cemetery however, this number could be higher as it doesn’t account for any lost/unmarked graves. Of course with any cemetery, especially a historic one comes the ghost sightings so here they are.
The first ghost is said to be that of a groundskeeper who tidies the cemetery. This is thought to be James McBride as he lived in the immediate area. The second is of an unidentified woman, who is said to wander in the south-east corner of the grounds.
The last standing gravestones, headstones and monoliths are the only ghostly reminder of a previous life the land and it’s people once held.
As always, thanks for reading!