Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Fireman on the H&N.W.R.R. [Hamilton and North-Western Rail Road] who unfortunately lost his life near Glencairn Station by the breaking of the lead wheel of the engine truck. He was 23 years of age and highly esteemed by his workmen for his [illegible]. His death will long be lamented by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.

During a snowstorm on the morning of 3rd of February, 1880 the train subsequently rolled down an embankment. Henry was working on the flat car and was killed instantly when the fuel tender pinned him against the boiler of the locomotive. It is a sad irony that the stone shows a locomotive on his headstone, though it was likely meant as a sign of respect for his profession and love of the railway.

the other side of the stone has this unusual poem inscribed

My engine now is cold and still
No water does my boiler fill
My coal affords its flame no more
My days of usefulness are o'er.
My wheels deny their running speed
No more my guiding hand they heed
My whistle too has lost its tone
Its shrill and thrilling sounds are gone.
My valves are now thrown open wide
My flanges all refuse to guide
My clacks also, though once so strong
Refuse to aid the busy throng.
No more I feel each surging breath
My steam is now condensed in death
Life's railway o'ver each station past
In death I'm stopped and rest at last.
Farewell all dear friends and cease to weep
In Christ I'm safe, in Him I sleep.

for a Taphophile Tragics at the Hamilton Cemetery

Monday, 24 September 2012

Beasley Kidz

the back wall of the Tivoli Theatre in the Beasley area of Hamilton is an ever [r]evolving art project
for Monday Murals

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


After seeing a headstone of one of his Brothers lying on the ground, damaged by vandals, Brother Al McLaren of the Lincoln Lodge set into motion to have it replaced as a project for the lodge's centenary. He researched Bro Spickett's life history and raised funds for a new stone to be placed at his gravesite. Thomas George Spickett, who was initiated into Acacia Lodge as a Mason in 1871, died in 1880 of heart disease at the young age of 31. He married and had two sons, both of whom would die of scarlet fever within three days of each other. Eight months before he died, a daughter was born. The daughter would eventually move to Connecticut with her new family and Thomas' widow would follow her there.
Standing by the grave is Robin McKee who holds regular cemetery tours on various themes, including this Masonic Tour, which alerted Mr McLaren of the travesty of the vandalized stone.
Bro. T.G. Spickett's Masonic dignity was restored with the unveiling of his new
headstone. Brethren present on October 22, 2011, paid tribute by placing
sprigs of evergreen on the headstone in the usual Masonic manner

for a Taphophile Tragics at the Hamilton Cemetery

Saturday, 15 September 2012

jumbo shipping

a heavy load carrier
Newcastle, Aug 13 - Rotterdam, Aug 15 - Antwerp, Aug 19 
Long Harbour (Nfld), Sept 3 - Hamilton (Ont), Sept 15

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


A simple flat stone marker for The Honourable Sir John Morison Gibson. 10th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1908-14 was knighted in 1912. He was born in Toronto of Scottish immigrants and grew up in the Hamilton area. As one of the "5 John's" who formed the Dominion Power and Transmission Company that brought hydroelectricity to Hamilton in 1896, he was part of an influential group of men and this John used his many connections to merge his political career with business and real estate and eventually transportation. With his financial and legal interests, there were a few conflicts of interest that he managed to use to his advantage. He was not a popular Lt Governor as he chafed under the restriction of his office where he could not be his usual autocratic self and freely express his opinions. But, like many a businessman, he was also a great philanthropist and helped form the Canadian Red Cross Society, the Wentworth Historical Society, was on the board of the Hamilton School Trustees for 15 years where he championed the upgrading of educational facilities and the hiring of better-educated teachers, and urged the creation of an industrial school and a public library.
He experienced great personal loss in his family life and would marry three times, to Emily Birrell in 1869 (d. 1874), Caroline Hope in 1876 (d. 1877 along with their daughter), Elizabeth Malloch in 1881 (d. 1929) From this last marriage came four sons and two daughters. Three of his sons would predecease him - in 1908, John Gordon would die of TB, in 1915, Francis Malloch would be killed in action in France and in 1920, Archibald Hope would lose his life to influenza. Sir John died of a stroke in 1929 at his home, Ravenscliffe.
K.C.M.G. Knight Commander of St Michael and St George
K.C. King's Counsel
LLD Doctor of Law
MA Master of Arts
V.D. Volunteer Decoration
As a freemason since 1867, Gibson also rose to Grand Master of the lodge in 1892-94.

for a Taphophile Tragics at the Hamilton Cemetery

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


Judging by the similarities of these two headstones, they may have been put up at the time of the father's passing. Little information could be found, but there was a son, Kelly, who died in 2006.
It is interesting to note the common practice of including the Star of David
on the headstone of the man and the menorah on the headstone of the woman.

for a Taphophile Tragics at Hess St Synagogue Cemetery

Monday, 3 September 2012


commissioned graf art
in 2004 the front wall of the Tivoili Theatre collapsed ... still waiting for restoration plans. this art project is to draw attention to the 140 year old building.