Bodwell Road before paving

Bodwell Road before paving

An urban legend lives right in our own backyard. The interesting tale of Simon Hirschberg, the first person intended for burial at Mountain View Cemetery in 1887, tells us that he never made it to the grounds and was instead buried at the corner of 33rd Ave and North Arm Road (now Fraser Street).

Simon Hirschberg was a hefty man of 300 pounds or more. When this owner of the Leland Hotel was found dead in his attic, suicide by poison, he was quite a challenge to transport on the poor conditions of those early roads. The cemetery at the time was little more than a clearing in the forest and North Arm Road was a dirt road with logs laid down on it. The day that Mr. Hirschberg was to be buried, the roads were worsened by winter rains and became a mud track that was difficult to move through with a horse and cart with a broken carriage wheel.

However, to end this story, the Cemetery Manager going through the registry at the cemetery has found his body has since been interred on the grounds in the Old Section.

The actual first burial in the cemetery was that of a ten month old infant Caradoc Evans, who died in February 1887. Although it was proposed to bury him in the road near Simon Hirschberg, his father refused and carried the coffin and body to the top of the nearest ridge for burial.

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Simon Hirschberg's new headstone ca. 2011