Near Tamworth ON – House and Graveyard with a Horrific Past

Near Tamworth  firsthouse4firsthouse3

Chris and I set out on a 2 day adventure on Saturday July 11/2015. This was our first findings near Tamworth ON on our way to Renfrew. The innards of the house had been mostly gutted for renovation at some point but looked like their efforts came to a halt possibly due to money? The siding is mostly stripped exposing the old wood of it’s original structure and it looks as though there was an over hang at side entrance.

firsthousewindow  firsthousewall  firsthousedoor

firsthousestairs  firsthousescreendoor  firsthousekitchen  firsthousecupboardfirsthouseceiling  firsthousesink

Although we couldn’t find any history on the house itself, right next to this “was once home” is a very old graveyard that, like any other, holds a little history. It was a very small burial ground for only a few different families but the one headstone that stood out to us was Elizabeth York, Born 1845 and Killed in 1863 (18 yrs old at time of death). Of course….this caught my interest and I had to start the search to find out what happened to her.

firsthousegraveyard  firsthousegravestone  firsthousegraveyard2

According to the Kingston Daily News on July 2nd 1863, Elizabeth was walking home between 9-10 pm when she encountered  Zachariah Fralick, son of Mr. Peter Fralick, a near neighbour. When he tried to put his arm around her she slapped him which in turn made him very angry. Zachariah was under the impression that he was going to marry Elizabeth and went into a rage when his affections were not reciprocated. Fralick first punched Elizabeth then followed through with beating her with a stone. He then moved her still breathing body to the other side of the fence so that the hogs wouldn’t devour her. Elizabeth York was found the next morning still alive but died shortly after. Fralick was asked if she made any attempt to defend herself. His response was no, she screamed “Have Mercy” as she fell back.

Zachariah Fralick was sentenced to death on Dec 7th 1863 at aged 20 in Kingston ON.

firsthousecemetry               firsthousecemetary firsthouse6


36 thoughts on “Near Tamworth ON – House and Graveyard with a Horrific Past

  1. I have lived on the next road over from this place my whole life and wondered about the graveyard! The building in the pictures was originally an old school house, Engelvalley public school, my papa walked to school there when he was a child from his homestead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Trina!! Thank you for posting that the house used to be a school house!! I had my suspicions but couldn’t confirm it 🙂 SO glad to have that piece of information 😀 Thanks again!

      Like

  2. Hi, my father owns the property and the graveyard ( which my family is buried in). Yes the building was a school house for many years. Our old neighbour passed away a few years back and dad bought the property since it was surrounded by our own. We gutted it and were deciding to tear it down. As we were deciding what to do with it, my brother hosted a few parties ( see beer pong rules photo you posted). Although these are lovely photographs, we would appreciate permission to take pictures of our property, graveyard, and pasture field in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My deepest apologies Hilary! There was no “No Trespassing” signs and we were just passing through and wouldn’t have known who to ask 😦 I can assure you we did no harm and left all as is….as we always do when exploring. Did not intend on offending anyone. Hope you and your family can accept our apologies!

      Like

  3. I never said it was haunted AND never said the “house” had the past 🙂 It might be a good idea to put up “No Trespassing” signs 😉 Again…we didn’t mean to offend anyone and my blog was mainly about someone buried in the cemetery which was factual 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

    Like

  4. Wow I would think these people would be just as interested in the property if they own it….and why deface history for beer pong? How sad if they are going to be of this negative mindset then yes put up a NO TRESPASSING sign.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Maybe if people would read first before complaining. You did nothing wrong. You wrote about the girl who was killed not a history on the building. Keep up your good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No worries and no harm done. It was interesting to read the history you dug up. I just wanted to make sure you were aware that some people may go to further circumstances of they caught you trespassing. I can assure you we would not. Perhaps a no trespassing sign is needed. As for the graveyard I know a lot of our ancestors and my grandparents grave stones are there, however do not know a lot of the history. I have also heard it is illegal to take pictures of a graveyard ( I’m only saying this for future reference so you don’t get in trouble!) I apologize for angus’ comment, I assure you that does not represent our family’s views on the matter. Keep up the interesting work.
    Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You Hilary 🙂 I appreciate your understanding and your comment. This is a pretty new hobby of ours (a passion really) and I’m not sure if it’s illegal to take pictures of graveyards but I will most assuredly be looking that up! I’m glad you found our blog interesting 🙂

      Like

  7. How awful for the victim and her family? My research on the matter indicates that not only did he murder her, but violate as well. In addition, it was a dog who found her body covered by the brush. I thought it was interesting that the family chose to inscribe that she was killed on her tombstone – how devastated they must all have been!! I cannot fathom it! Thanks for sharing the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really love the History of Canada and looking at pictures of old homesteads/schoolhouse are very interesting. It makes you think and wonder of the people who came before us. I’m sure that this is also your intentions. Please for all of us History freaks do not tear down the building.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Why should owners of empty places put up no trespassing signs, it should be a “given” that if it’s not yours stay out. You wouldn’t just walk in any house, occupied or not and start checking it out and taking pictures, what has happened to respecting others properties?

    Like

    1. Wendy…I respect your view but I’m not sure you understand the situation. When we explore abandoned house the assumption is that it’s NOT owned or just left to rot because windows are broken, nobody takes time or effort to board up windows OR put up a No Trespassing sign. When you see something like that you think it’s not owned by anybody that even cares at that point. It’s not like we walk into someones house with a camera while they’re eating dinner or watching t.v. No comparison there really 😉

      Like

  10. I really appreciate everyone’s feedback and comments. I’m sure this could go on forever with everyone’s “opinions” and for that matter alone….from here on in….unless you have something positive to say or more facts about the blog itself, I will not approve your comments 🙂 Thanks again everyone!! 😀

    Like

  11. I am Melissa Yorke, a direct descendant of Joshua York(e). I have been to the gravesite to visit my ancestors with my father, Angus Yorke, who grew up in Erinsville/Tamworth. I have taken pictures of the graves too. My father and his brother as well (it is not against the law). On one of my many visits to the gravesite, my father spoke to a neighbour beside the gravesite and at the time my father said that this particular fellow was a McLaughlin in the past his ancestors had married into the York family. The gravesite holds both family names. In fact you will see other “Melissa York’s” buried there as well. I have a traditional family name. The properties in close proximity to the gravesite once dated back to Joshua York. My father had shown me his homestead (still standing). My grandfather was Ranald York and his wife was Agnes O’Neill of Erinsville. They lived on a family farm on what was called Cabbage Street (Rd?) and then later moved into Tamworth. History is interesting and fun, and everyone should embrace it whether connected to the familial history of the property or not. I am hoping I am not in danger the next time I stop to walk through the gravesite (lol).

    Like

    1. Thanks for that Melissa!!! VERY interesting 😀 Loved reading your post 🙂 Wondering if you could edit your post to take out any road names or addresses that might lead people to the house? Just so we don’t cause any grief for the owners with vandals or partying teenagers 🙂 Again…love your post!

      Like

    2. Hi Mellisa My name is Robert Gaffney. I knew your grandparents and your father and as well your uncle. The abandened graveyard become a municipal responsibilty back when I was on council and chairman of the property committee. I learned a great deal about this one and many others as well as a lot of history. Very interesting to say the least.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I remember your family. I remember there were efforts to clean up the graveyard as well. Dad and Uncle Frank researched the family tree on both sides. Their research was put into a book/album for the entire family including my Aunt Peg’s family as well. I think my cousins, my siblings and myself need to make a road trip to revisit the family roots this summer. I really enjoy all the history and our family memories….

        Like

  12. I was wondering where you found your information? My husbands family is from Tamworth and his Grandmothers Madden name was York, I would like to find out more about his family.

    Like

  13. Wow! That seems like a very unnecessary negative comment. She QUESTIONED that MAYBE it had been in the process of being revamped & MAYBE it had come to a halt due to finances. Also, I must apologize, but having that someone is burind there that was KILLED makes it have, yes, a gruesome past & anyone that does not think that murder is gruesome, needs to have their head checked. Mind you, I have to honestly say that it doesn’t surprise me coming from someone who “celebrates” the acquisition of a property and/or building by destroying it. Not to mention, how do you think rwaearch is done? Only PART of it involves books & newspapers my dear.

    To those who found it, keep up the awesome work. I always find “discoveries” like this ever-so interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries Darlin’!
        I absolutely LOVE stumbling across pictures & stories like these! I find the history so intriguing & am very happy to find one so close to home as I was born, raised & currently reside in Kingston. The ones I find are usually in the States, Europe oreven Ireland !
        Thanks again & keep up the great work!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and looking through your pictures 😊 I find stuff like this absolutely fascinating. How do I “follow” you so that I can see things that you put up?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Crystal 🙂 When you’re in our blog there should be a little button in the right hand bottom corner that says +Follow….click and enter your email and you’ll be notified when ever we add a new blog 😀 Thanks for your interest!
      Michelle

      Like

  15. Thank you for the story. I am a decedent of Zachariah Fralick and this was a story our family had bot heard before. But I will defiantly be soing some research on.

    Like

  16. HI MY NAME IS PAT HARE MARRIED KNOW BUT I GROW UP IN MARLBANK MY GRAND PARNTCE WHRER PERRY AND CLARIA YOUNG THEY WOULD TAKE ME OVER CHURCH WAS OUT AND GO OVER TO SEE MRS YORKS HOUSE SHE WAS IN A WHEEL CHAIR I REMBER THE OLD HOUSE SO MUCH IT PROCD BACK MIMORICES THERE WAS FRANK DONNEL AND EDITH YORK I STAD WITH BOTH OF THEM BOTH WAS ON MY DAD SIDE YOUNG BACK THEN I WHET BY PATSY YOUNG IN SCHOOL MY DAD JUST PASSED AWAY NICE TALKING WITH YOU

    Like

  17. Angus MacLaughlin, Why do you have to be so rude to Michelle. I think her story about the young girl was very interesting.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.