Saint-Basile Cemetery, designated a Local Historic Place, is the oldest burial ground in Madawaska County. It is recognized for the pioneers interred there and the regional sculpted works on display.
In use for over 200 years, the Saint-Basile Cemetery was the first in the Madawaska region. Enclosed by a wrought-iron fence on two sides with three portals at the front, it has served as a final resting place for the community since around 1790. The oldest known tombstone dates back to 1802.
The cemetery is notable for the graves of significant figures in Madawaska’s history. Father Benjamin Saindon spent 16 years of his priestly life in Saint-Basile, founded a colony near Pont-Prime, and had the Calvary erected in the cemetery. Msgr. Louis-Napoléon Dugal made a lasting impact on local history through his commitment to society, creating 14 parishes and spending 53 years of his priestly life in Saint-Basile. A marble stone is dedicated to Marguerite “Tante Blanche” Thibodeau Cyr, who, due to her charitable work during the Black Famine of 1797, earned the title of “aunt of Madawaska.”
The cemetery’s heritage value also stems from the sculpted works found on the grounds. A granite monument to the cross, created by Rino P. Martin and René Doucette, commemorates the forefathers whose names are engraved on a bronze plaque.
A Calvary composed of four statutes, assembled by Alphonse Pelletier and Lévite Bois, is located across from the cemetery’s main entrance at the end of a path interspersed with sculpted stone plaques, representing the procession of Christ.
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