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Cooley Hatt Cemetery closure

OGS is heavily involved in the fight to protect and preserve Ontario cemeteries. The Cemetery Preservation Committee is currently working to prevent the closure of the Cooley- Hatt Cemetery and you can help!

The Cooley-Hatt Cemetery is an unapproved cemetery with approximately 99 burials. The property is located in the City of Hamilton on the Niagara Escarpment in the Greenbelt. It has been purchased by developers who have appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board for the approval of a plan of subdivision. The hearings will be held in October and November. 

Richard Hatt (1769-1819), and his wife Mary Cooley, along with some of her family and several of their nine children are buried there. Richard Hatt was a businessman, judge, politican and militia officer. He established mills in Ancaster and Dundas Mills. The latter complex had a distillery, potashery, general store, sawmills, a coopery and a blacksmith shop.

Richard Hatt served in the War of 1812 as a Major in the 5th Lincoln Militia and was severely wounded at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. He was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1800 and a judge of the District and Surrogate Courts. He purchased Joseph Willcocks’ printing press and published the Upper Canada Phoenix.

 If Bill 149, The Inactive Cemeteries Protection Act 2009 had passed, it would have prevented the closure of the Cooley-Hatt Cemetery (Bill 149 died on the order papers when the provincial legislature was prorogued). There was tremendous support for Bill 149. Hopefully, we can help save this historic pioneer cemetery

Please download the following petition: Cooley-Hatt Cemetery Petition to Legislative Assembly

 Completed petitions should be sent either to:

The Ontario Genealogical Society
40 Orchard View Blvd, Suite 102
Toronto, ON M4R 1B9


The Ontario Historical Society
34 Parkview Avenue
Willowdale, ON M2N 3Y2  

Completed petitions will be delivered to the Legislature when it reconvenes.
The OMB Hearing is at the end of October/ beginning of November.

 Thank you for all your assistance

~OGS Cemetery Preservation Committee~

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One Response to “Cooley Hatt Cemetery closure”

  1. Ellen Boyce says:

    Why do we continue to destroy the historical nature of the town of Ancaster. There is enough land south of the town to develop into the burbs. The crudeness of these developers should be stopped. This over development of areas that are not able to function as arteries for traffic will only continue to disturb the peaceful setting that brings so many people to our area. Please respect the dead and move off to another site where the appropriate develpment can absorb the traffic and planning for essential services for larger subdivisions.
    With 33 years in real estate in this area I say take the massive “Mississuaga -Style ” developments south of the city where the official plan designates.
    If this was a native cemetary I believe that more attention would be paid for resepect of the past. Where is ours!
    This buyer should have done more to ensure that the property he bought was not a cemetery. Perhaps he should seek compensation from his realtor for the blunder and not the dead.

    Ellen Boyce
    Royal Lepage State Realty