Original Prospect Burial Ground, ca. 1760s to ca. 1850s

Prospect's first church was built at the end of the Peninsula in about 1790 and served the community for nearly 70 years. Surrounding the original church building was the original burial ground. Today, the burial ground is adjacent to the former Prospect B&B and is marked by a large cross that is perched on top of the rocks. As far as we can tell people from all over the Prospect area would have come to be buried here, adjacent to the church, until their own community cemeteries were consecrated.

There is very little material or evidence of burials here prior to the beginning of record keeping within the parish ca. 1823. There is currently one headstone located in the cemetery, buried under tall grass and hundreds of years of neglect. This large sandstone headstone reads as follows:

In Memory of
RICHARD
? (most likely son) of
Michael(?) ? Elizabeth Ryan
who died 11th ? AD 1845
Aged 15 years, 9 months
May He Rest in Peace

Former resident Ed Rogers has in his research notes the inscription of another headstone that he said was formerly located in this cemetery but is no longer there. It reads as follows

Here Lies
The Body of
Mary SHEA
Wife of Edmund Murphy
Native of Ballylynch
Parish of Garrick on Suir
Ireland
Who died 23rd Oct. 1836
Aged 50 years
Thomas Murphy
Who died 28th May 1835
Aged 19 years
May Thier Souls Rest in Peace

One possible explanation for the lack of headstones in the cemetery can be found in local folklore. Stories suggest that sometime in the late 19th Centry the parish priest began planting potatoes in the field behind the church, which contained the cemetery grounds. This outraged the families of the deceased buried in the cemetery so in retaliation to the Priest's actions they removed the headstones of their respective family members. One such headstone is located in the basement of Judy and Darrel Durling, who live in a house formerly owned by William and John Booth. Mary Jane (White) Booth was the widow of John Booth who was in turn the son of John and Margaret Booth. Mary Jane (White) Booth would re-marry James H. Power (1849-1933) who was for many years the post master of the village. The headstone inscription reads:

Sacred to the Memory of
MARY
Wife of John Booth
died August 3, 1855
aged 42 years
headstone.jpg

This picture was taken in about 2002 and shows the headstone as it was situated at that time.