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The picture last week was taken in Markillie Cemetery. This sandstone structure with wooden doors is built into the side of a hill just north of the Markillie Chapel. In the past it was the temporary holding vault, used when the ground was frozen and graves could not be dug. The vault could hold twelve bodies. After the weather broke the deceased were removed from the holding vault and buried in their respective graves. Today the space is used for equipment storage.
The next time you are in Markillie Cemetery, be sure to take a look at the stained glass windows in the chapel. Each was donated by a Hudson family in memory of a loved one interred in the cemetery. The windows were designed and constructed by the late Hudson resident Peter McDonald, and each window has a particular story and a personalized emblem.
The cemetery is named for John Markillie who bought the land in 1848. According to some accounts, the first burial was when John buried his mother, Lucy, in a lovely spot on a knoll. Markers for Lucy, John and several other family members can be found, but there also are several headstones in the cemetery dating before 1850. There is no explanation for these earlier burials.
Markillie Cemetery is immediately north of St. Mary Catholic Cemetery which was established in 1880. The common boundary, some 719 feet long, became the perfect setting for the burials of mixed Protestant-Catholic couples, with the Protestant spouse buried on the Markillie side and the Catholic spouse buried alongside on the St. Mary side. Although the two cemeteries once had separate entrances, both are now managed by the city and share an entrance on North Main Street.
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