The Directors were empowered to select and buy land suitable
for the cemetery during a second meeting in April 1877. They reported back in
January 1878 that after careful consideration, they had purchased suitable
lands and that it was fenced and Mr. Pollock of Galt had prepared a map laying
out walks and roadways and that five acres were now ready for occupation.
By 1885, the first removals from outlying burial grounds
were considered and this was strengthened by the action of the
Village Council in prohibiting burials within the corporation.
On the same date permission was granted to purchase a stove for the house at
the entrance to the Cemetery as it was found necessary for the Caretaker while
awaiting funerals in the winter.
In 1890 the Company authorized the buying of the first
equipment to look after the grounds which included a step ladder, a pair of new
shears and some chairs for the gate house also the Caretaker was authorized to
secure paint and do the outside of the gate house.
At first, many of the Directors took a hand in the care of
the cemetery on a volunteer basis but in 1883, $10 was set aside for the
payment of a part-time caretaker for one year. This was raised to $65 a year in
1885 and again in 1891 to $1.25 per day and by 1900 it was back to $200 per
Financial Statements were presented each year at the Annual
Meeting and it is noted that in 1893 the Financial Statement was published in
the Ayr Advocate and also 150 hand bills were authorized to be printed and
distributed. At the same meeting, special permission was granted to the
Shareholders to use the Company hand mower when cutting their own lots, as each
lot owner looked after his own lot.
The first direct move towards a perpetual care fund was
started in 1885, when Mr. David Goldie in his will left $1,000 to the Company
on the condition that the Company in a period of over just one year raised
another $3,000 to be set up as a special fund. The interested from such a fund
to be used for the care of the pathways and roads of the cemetery. The Company
raised the necessary money and this was a start of a reserve fund, which in
1960 had grown to over $25,000.
In 1926 consideration was given to a proper building at the
gates for people to await funerals and later in 1929 an estimate of $1,800 was
received and the matter was put off.
At this time a donation was received from Jas. G. Robson
amounting to $500 for new entrance gates and it was decided to use this
money to erect proper pillars and in 1932 Mr. A.E. Watson, on behalf of himself
and his family, donated the iron gates and fence between the new pillars in
memory of John Watson. These gates and fence were designed and built by Mr.
A.E. Watson in his plant at Ayr.
In 1944, Miss Elizabeth Dolman Watson left to the Ayr
Cemetery Company a sum of $4,000 and in 1950 her sister Miss Mary Urie Watson
left a similar sum of money amounting to $5,000 for the erection and furnishing
of a suitable Chapel for the Cemetery.
In view of this $9,000 received, the Directors of the
Company decided to ask the lot owners of the Cemetery if they would come
forward and donate the balance of an estimated cost of $18,000. Suitable
letters were sent out and as a result in 1951 sufficient funds were received to
enable the Directors to go ahead.
Mr. Ray Hall of Galt was employed as architect and a very
excellent building of stone was completed with a fire proof vault erected near
the gates on the east side of the entrance.
Since then interested people and organizations have donated
furnishings and the Company has installed up-to-date lighting and heating units
making the building complete.
Through careful management of funds and the continued
interest of all those connected with the Cemetery Company, the cemetery has
become one of the best in Ontario and when the Inspector from the Ontario
Department of Health checked the complete set of records, the grounds, chapel
and equipment in August 1959 in his report said: “The Cemetery and records are
being kept in accordance with the Cemeteries Act and that it is with pleasure
that we extend our congratulations with respect to the same.” “Condition of the
Cemetery – very well cared for”.