Indian Hill – A Place of Historical Significance

The History of Ramsay...

It is believed that there used to be a trading post on the top of the hill where the Indian Hill cemetery is now. When they were digging graves they found the Indian skulls so it came to be called Indian Hill Road. It was the original road from Almonte to Pakenham until the highway was changed to where it is now in the 1950’s

In 1873 Thomas Nuggent sold approximately 1 ½ acres of his land to the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation Diocese of Ottawa for use as an RC cemetery in Pakenham.  It is located on Lot 6, Conc 9, Pakenham Township, Lanark County atop a small hill about 2 ½ miles (4 kms) south of Village.  The Indian Creek runs into the Mississippi River close to its base.

When the cemetery was begun, many skulls with long black hair were found and it was discovered that this had been the site of the old Indian burial grounds,  An epidemic of fever/influenza had wiped out many of the tribes camped along the river and the deceased had been buried high on the hill where no water could mar their graves.

They were part of the Algonquin nation, a peaceful group. For many years they travelled the Mississippi River. The Iroquois to the south were dangerous wanting to control the fur trade. Some Algonquins were killed by the Iroquois.  But what proved to be more deadly was when they took our beaver pelts to meet the Fur Traders on the Ottawa River and they were infected with their diseases.

In 1820, they gathered at Indian Hill in their teepees.  They were infected with the influenza and very few survived.

The cemetery is a beautifully kept scenic area in the centre of which there is a wooden cross and a large black iron cross.  The cemetery was enlarged in August 1977 by a donation of land by Myrlah and Dennis Sine in order to accommodate descendants of the original families and new families in the immediate area.