Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Members Who Died In Nanaimo’s 19th Century Coal Mines

Ashlar Lodge No. 3 has long been aware of the grave of Samuel Hudson, an Ashlar Lodge No. 3 member who died in the Esplanade No. 1 mine explosion on 3 May 1887. Samuel Hudson is buried in Bowen Road Cemetery in Nanaimo, B.C.

Grave of Samuel Hudson in Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.
Samuel Hudson grave, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo

But until a few days ago we were unaware of several other Ashlar Lodge No. 3 members who died in 19th century coal mine explosions and other industrial incidents in and around Nanaimo.

A few days ago our Ashlar Lodge No.3 Historian, W.B. Mark Anderson, took a walk through Nanaimo’s Bowen Road Cemetery looking for the graves of deceased Masons. He found quite a few Masonic graves, including the following Freemasons who died in Nanaimo’s 19 century coal mines.

Here are some of the graves our Historian found in Bowen Road Cemetery a few days ago:

John Abernathy, a coal miner who was killed in a rock fall in December 1886.

John Abernathy grave marker, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.
John Abernathy grave marker, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C. (photo by Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Historian)

William Horne, who died in the Wellington No. 5 mine explosion on 24 January 1888. Alexander Ross (see below) also died in Wellington No. 5 explosion.

William Horne grave marker, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.
William Horne grave marker, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C. (photo by Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Historian)

Alexander Marshall, who died in 1889 after falling down a mine shaft.

Alexander Marshall grave marker, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.
Alexander Marshall grave marker, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C. (photo by Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Historian)

Alexander Ross,  who died in the Wellington No. 5 mine explosion on 24 January 1888. William Horne (see above) also died in Wellington No. 5 explosion.

Alexander Ross grave marker, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C.
Alexander Ross grave marker, Bowen Road Cemetery, Nanaimo, B.C. (photo by Ashlar Lodge No. 3 Historian)

We will post more information about these deceased Brethren and any other Freemasons we discover were killed in Nanaimo’s 19th century coal mines.

We will also be including this information in our 150th Anniversary celebrations this year.

Here is a link to a list of the fatalities in Nanaimo’s coal mines between 1874 and 1899. Note: PDF

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