Cavendish Cemetery
Cavendish Prince Edward Island

Here is an example of a small rural cemetery that is an international tourist attraction due to the notoriety of one of those who are interred there. The wrought iron arch around the front gate proclaims not the name of the cemetery, but the fact that it is the "Resting Place of L.M. Montgomery".

Lucy Maud Montgomery endeared herself to the world as the author of the "Anne of Green Gables" books. People flock from all over the world to pay homage to the author's birthplace, the cottage which inspired the books, and her gravesite (where she is interred with her husband, the Rev. Ewin MacDonald). It is not hard to find the grave of the famous author: just follow the path from the front gate. Also resting in the cemetery are the well marked graves of Montgomery's mother and grand parents.

Everything in Cavendish is geared to the tourist: the line-ups at the Green Gables cottage are often long and the site is crowded. You can miss a lot of history in a tourist town if you don't look and ask questions. At the bottom of the Cavendish Cemetery, over the hill where you can't see it unless you walk there, is an anchor embedded in concrete. The stone marker attached to it reads:

"In Memory of
New England and Maritime
Sailors who lost their lives
in the Yankee Gale
October 1851"

October 3, 1851 was the date of the worst disaster in Prince Edward Island history. A fierce storm blew from the North East wrecking or stranding as many as 150 ships off the coast of the island. In true Maritime fashion, the residents of the PEI flock to the shores to rescue survivors and claim the dead. Some estimates place the number of dead at 400. Many of the bodies of sailors washed ashore were never identified like the 12 who washed ashore at Cavendish. The shoreline cliffs of PEI are festooned with small graveyards overlooking the sea (like the one below). Most of them contain the unidentified remains of sailors who perished in the "Yankee Gale".