Photo Du JourWindsor

Assumption Cemetery

At the corner of Wyandotte St. W. and Huron Church, surrounded by the Ambassador Bridge is Assumption Cemetery. This is the early Roman Catholic cemetery for the Windsor area.

A google search turned up this brief history of the cemetery:

At its present site, the Assumption Cemetery (located at the intersection of Wyandotte St. West and Huron Church Rd.) was established in 1859, when then-Bishop Pinsonneault relocated it from the Cemetery’s second home, the area we know now as Assumption Park. However, remains interred on-site today can actually be traced back as far as 1795, initially part of the Cemetery’s first home (1781) next to Assumption Church – itself founded as a parish in 1767 and standing as the oldest in Ontario. Within eye (and ear-shot) of the Ambassador Bridge, Assumption Cemetery also notably contains the Basilian Fathers’ plot that dates back to 1870.

The Ambassador Bridge looms behind the headstones.

The family of Col. James Askin, namesake of Askin Ave. Col. Askin was born in Detroit in 1788, he died in 1863, and his son John A. Askin, born in 1817, died in 1904.

During my visit, I saw this overgrown cross memorial, and headed in for a closer look…

It’s a memorial to Sgt. Joseph D. Creede, who was killed in action over Hamburg Germany in 1942 during WWII.

A telling sign of the influence of the French history of our region. A completely French tombstone from the 1940’s. Calixte Séguin was a member of the School Board.

Frank E. Marcon. Born in England in 1832. Was clerk of the county court & registrar of surrogate. He died in 1901.

The grave of Sir Harry Gignac. In his early days Gignac was a member of the Sandwich Fire Department, and according to his obituary in the Windsor Star, “Harry Gignac as a young man went to work for the Neal Baking Company, but in 1915, he established his own bakery, producing Butternut Bread. The business became one of the most successful in Western Ontario. He sold his share of the bakery to start Purity Dairies in Windsor in 1929. Gignac is best known for his community service: five times President of the Windsor Branch of the Canadian Red Cross, founder of Goodwill Industries, and founder of the United Appeal, now known as the United Way. He was a member of the Board of Regents of Assumption University, before it became the University of Windsor. In 1960, the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews named him Humanitarian of the Year.”

Gignac was also the original owner of what is today known as the Grad House at the University of Windsor, which is facing demolition and was featured in the January 3rd entry (see the last photo).

His brother Art Gignac was a well known Rum Runner during prohibition. Click here to read his story.

Col. Arthur Rankin, born at sea in 1824. Joined the Queen’s Light Infantry at Toronto at 14 in 1838, when it was sent to the Detroit Frontier. Took part in the infamous Battle of Windsor and captured the flag of the so-called Patriots. He was a member of Parliament for Essex from 1854 to 1857, and again from 1863 to 1867. When the two provinces Upper and Lower Canada were each divided into nine military districts, Rankin was appointed Colonel of the ninth Upper Canadian District. He died in 1893, and is the namesake of Rankin Ave.

Victor Ouellette, member of the School Board.

A few views of the Lavin Mausoleum. Despite the grandure of the mausoleum, I was unable to uncover any information about the Lavin Family.

The Basilian Fathers’ plot.

The McKee Mausoleum, James McKee (1829-1899) was the reeve of Sandwich for 20 years, most of the family was actively involved in local politics. The McKee’s were related by marriage to the Rankin’s.

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