St. Andrews Bendale
Posted: October 4, 2013 in history
Tags: cemetery, church, history, McCowan, memorials, old, photographs, photos, Presbyterian, Scarborough, St. Andrews, Thomson, tombstones, Toronto, West Highland Creek
St. Andrews Bendale, Presbyterian church and cemetery, are located in a quiet corner of Scarborough, east of McCowan Avenue and north of Lawrence Avenue. The property backs onto Thomson Memorial Park which in turn follows the West Highland Creek.
The acre of land for the church was donated by David Thomson and the original wood church was built here in 1818. It was the first Presbyterian church built in what is now Toronto. David Thomson had arrived in the area from Scotland in 1796 at which time he was granted 400 acres of land. David was soon followed by his brothers Andrew Thomson and Archibald Thomson who settled nearby. The area became known as the Thomson Settlement.
Thomson burial plot. The inscription across the top reads “1796 – To their honor who redeemed this township from the wilderness – 1921”
The three plaques (stones) are for David Thomson, Mary Thomson and Hellen Thomson.On the left: “In Memory of David Thomas of Westerkirk Dumfries-shire Scotland who was the First Settler in Scarborough where his was the first land cleared. He had arrived in Upper Canada in 1796 and died on the 22nd June 1834, aged ?, leaving his wife, eleven children and 53 grandchildren.”
Center: “In Memory of Mary Thomson, Mother of Scarborough, who died the 8th of Nov 18–? aged 80 years….”
On the right is the stone for Hellen Thomson. It is very worn and is difficult to read.
Robert Rae and his wife Agnes Hamilton
“natives of Lesmahago Scotland who came to Scarboro in 1832. Three weeks after their arrival, in his 29th year, he was killed by a falling tree :: his wife survived him 46 years, dying in 1878 – in her (86?)th year.”To the left of the Rae/Hamilton memorial is a smaller tombstone for Margaret Rae (d. 1860), wife of Amos Thomson.
To the right of the Rae/Hamilton memorial is a tombstone for James McCowan and Margaret Porteous. This couple also came from Lesmahago Lanarkshire Scotland and they too were one of the pioneering families of Scarborough.
There are a large number of other old Scarborough families represented in this cemetery – Gibson, Muir, Young and Stobo to name a few.