Brookside History

Yeadon Cemetary (view on map)

John Corbett: 'Yeadon Cemetery' - is there a back story for the Cemetery of predominantly Yeadon family on Brookside road a few hundred yards west of McGrath Lake outflow?

Terry Martin: Walter Yeadon was the elder patriarch when I moved to Brookside in '61. He lived in "Yeaholm" near McGrath lake. He surveyed and sub divided most of the land along the road from the bridge down to end of road.. His brother was Charlie and another Dave who sold the property that was to become Melody and others in that area. Walter's son Dale sold land that was to become Irisweg and surrounds. I believe only grandson Terry and great grandson Bill live in the area now. The graveyard was in use way before I moved here and the Yeadon and extended families still own it to my knowledge.

Terry Martin: One interesting story is that one of the very young Yeadon children drowned in the brook under the bridge one winter and I think his gravesite is in the cemetery.

Hillary Ripley: It's actually my family. My great grandfather and grandmother (Yeadon) and a few of the children are buried there (my great aunts and uncles). Three Yeadon children drowned in Peters lake years ago and they are buried there. George Yeadon is my great grandfather and is the one that originally came here (I believe). The stretch of road from Holts down a ways is called the George Yeadon stretch. They owned a huge chunk of the land in Brookside. My grandparents (Ronnie and Connie Yeadon) built and lived in the white house at the beginning of Brookside road with the playground and little village in the back. They have both passed away though and were the last of the original Yeadons out here. There are other Yeadons but they came from Spryfield (I asked one of them and found out we were not related at all). I think the back story behind the cemetery was just to have a place to lay family members to rest but I'm not 100% sure on that
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Jan Fraser: Deb MacDonald Muise 's mother takes care of the Cemetery now, I believe.

John Corbett: Thanks for sharing details of the graveyard and the family stories. The grave stone for the 3 children who drown together is particularly touching. I noticed that there are some very recent internments and, seemingly, an area cleared for possible future internments. Has anyone written a history for the area?

Hillary Ripley: John Corbett I am uncertain as to who has access to being buried there and am unsure of a history but now that you have me intrigued I'm going to ask my mother who is a Yeadon.

Terry Martin: About 15 years ago, someone put out a small booklet that outlined the original land grants all along the Prospect Road. It showed early 1800's grants for the Umlah, Drysdale and Yeadon families from Goodwood thru Whites lake. A lot of history of the Brookside Rd. ( then called the old Terance Bay Rd) was spelled out. Unfortunately I've lost my copy of the booklet but would love to have a copy again if anyone has one.

Terry Martin: I may be wrong but Harvey MacDonald, married to one of Charlie Yeadon's daughters may be involved in access/ care of the cemetery.

John Corbett: '...old Terance Bay Rd' -- Did Brookside road go through to Terrance Bay at one time?

Terry Martin: Still goes thru to River Rd. in Terance Bay and also veers off to Lake Frederick. We used to cross country ski thru for years.

Terry Martin: Years ago there were a few farms in the area too. Top of the hill by the bridge was Dave Yeadon's, it burnt down after his death I think. At the very end of Brookside up a trail was Calhoun's farm. He owned a bicycle repair shop on Cunard St. and the story is his parents used to take veggies to sell by horse and wagon into Hfx. long ago. This farm also burnt down back in the 60's. At the end of Irisweg was Henneberry's farm, accessible from Club Rd. and it too burnt back in the '79. When we first came here in the late '50's, we'd rent cabins near the bridge from Charlie Yeadon until my dad helped Walter cut out what is now Eunice Ave. where my parents built their first home there. The road was unpaved back then and if two vehicles met, they'd have to pull over almost in the gutter to pass by. One winter there was a massive snow storm and we were stuck in Brookside for days. Walter, who owned an excavator, plowed a trail so that cars could make it thru to the Prospect Rd. Thanks for jogging my memory about the "early days" of life in the Brookside area.

John Corbett: Terry, thanks for sharing. It is most interesting. When you refer to "the bridge", which one is that? ... near the McGrath Lake outflow?

Hillary Ripley: Dave, Charlie and George Yeadon were the 3 founding Yeadon brothers. They all had equal grants to the land around here. My mom said her father (Ron Yeadon) had all the receipts of people that bought all their properties from them. My dad says he has a copy of the original copy of the cemetery plot... We are going to have a look for it and post it for curiosity's sake.
And yes it is the bridge near McGrath lake outflow.

Terry Martin: Like Hillary said, the bridge is the one at McGrath's lake. It flows down into Moosehorn, then Third lake, Fourth and then into Terance Bay. Charlie and Dave were Walters cousins and the 3 did share most of the land ownership from mid point to the end of Brookside. My dad bought his first land lot on Eunice Ave. for $600 from Walter in '60.  We used to rent a cottage from Charlie in '57-'59 that was/ is right beside the bridge. It was called "No Back Door" because, well it didn't. Across the road was another cottage called "Sans Souci" ( without a care). Other long time cottage owners along the lake were the Campbells and the Purcells. All these properties still exist but have been renovated to full time homes.

Deb MacDonald Muise: I'm the Granddaughter of Charlie Yeadon. He built his home in 1941 (which I live in). He was born right here on our property, the family home that his parents built was the farmhouse at the top of the hill, (gone now). He and his older brother Dave owned a large portion of land and then Walter Yeadon (Charlie's 1st Cousin) owned another large portion. The Cemetery is privately owned by my mom and aunt. It is for the use of the Yeadon family.

Deb MacDonald Muise: Henneberry's farm didn't burn down until the early 80's. I have pictures of me picking cranberrys and the farmhouse was still there in '79.

Deb MacDonald Muise: John, my uncle did indeed drown at age 2.5, just to the left of the mouth of the river. He is buried in the cemetery.  I believe the 3 other childern that drowned were Stones, they are in the cemetery but no headstones only piles of rocks.

Deb MacDonald Muise: Prospect communities, does have some history. Although with their site under construction now, I think it is inaccessible.

Deb MacDonald Muise: At one time there used to be a ball field here in Brookside where everybody came to play ball. That was before my time.

Hillary Ripley: The three other children that died were Yeadons. They were my grandfathers siblings. I have a copy of the news article when the story was published. George Yeadon carried his children out of the lake.

Deb MacDonald Muise: The last two cottages that Charlie Yeadon had are now gone as of 2013. He built those before he built his own home in 41.

Deb MacDonald Muise: Hillary Ripley, sorry, right.

Deb MacDonald Muise: I would like to say though, Please remember and respect that the Private Cemetery is private property.

Terry Martin: I remember the ball field across from Charlie's property. Did see a community game there when I first visited here. I captured garter snakes in the overgrown grass there with Terry Yeadon. We "sold"them to some nuns from Mt. Saint Vincent for their biology class.

Deb MacDonald Muise: Terry Martin, funny. In behind it, was the local dump.

Terry Martin: Yes and was full of rats and a lynx!

Terry Martin: This is a fun thread many memories...Charlie's wife Dot used to cut my hair in her basement sometimes back when "brush cuts"were the norm.

Deb MacDonald Muise: Way before Mitchell Road was built, there were cottages on the other side of the lake. The cottage owners used to boat across from from my Grandfather's place, (my place).

Terry Martin: Didn't know that. Mitchell was here when I came but I had an uncle who rented one of those cottages one summer. I live on Kelly Road now and as teenagers it was just a wooded path where we snared rabbits and followed it up to the Henneberry farm.

John Corbett: Deb, there is a stone in the back that has 3 names and a reference to drownings but no dates. When would the 3 have drowned?

Hillary Ripley: It was about 1940. My grandfather was 5 years old and was at the beach when the 3 drowned but couldn't swim and therefore couldn't help them

John Corbett: Any memories/stories of the Northcliffe/Lakewood/Oakridge area?

John Corbett: Hillary. that must have left quite an impression on a 5-year old! Where was the beach? Somewhere earlier, Peter's Lake was referenced. Is there still public access there? It seems a bit out of the way.

Terry Martin: When Dave Yeadon was alive he had a big old horse named "Paul" and 3 oxen. The horse would wander thru a pathway that's about where Melody is now. I do remember there were lots of trails throughout the area. Far back there was a large hunting camp/ clubhouse that I think is the source of the Club Road name.

Terry Martin: Peter's lake access was from a small road that is the start of the "long bog" stretch in Hatchet's Lake. The beach may have been in there .

Hillary Ripley: And correction my mother says 1938 or 39. My grandfather was 4! It did indeed scar him for life. He was terrified of water for the rest of his life.

Terry Martin: Understandably so.

Hillary Ripley: We have a copy of the news article so I'm going to scan it and post it - it's very sad but it's all part of the history of this community.

Hillary Ripley: The first picture reads "One of the victims of yesterday's triple drowning tragedy at Peter's Lake, off the Prospect Road, Halifax county is shown above being recovered from the water. George Yeadon, 13, (left inset), is being borne to shore by "Bill" McCall; staff representative of the Halifax Mail, while the father of the dead lad, George Yeadon Sr. stands in the water waiting to take the body of his son. Mike Butler, well known Armdale man, located the body and with the assitance of the newspaper man, brought it to the surface. Mr. Butler can be seen in the water near the boar manned by RCMP. Constables G. King and F.A Wooklands. Centre inset, Dorothy Yeadon, right inset, Earl Yeadon, the two other victims of the fatality.

Article related to a local drowning in 1938
Second picture: Beautiful, tree-shaded Peter's Lake on the Prospect Road 10 miles southwest of Halifax, was the scene of tragedy yesterday. The family of Mr. and Mrs. George Yeadon, of the back-country district of Goodwood was robbed of three of its members at one blow. Drowned in the lake waters beyond their depth were Earl Yeadon, 9, (upper left), George and Dorothy Yeadon, 13 and 11, (upper right). Mr. and Mrs. Yeadon with the remnant of their family, below, sorrowfully reflect on the blow which has fallen on them. With them are Joyce, 2, and Ronnie, 4 who saw their elder brothers and sister drown. Third child to survive was 8 year old Elsie, shown upper right between George and Dorothy.

Elsie is the only surviving member of the family as of now.

Article related to a local drowning in 1938

Terry Martin: This is unbelievably sad. I had heard of the tragic story but not the details. Like you mentioned it's part of the communities fabric.

John Corbett: Hillary, thanks for sharing. Terribly sad!

Hillary Ripley: Someone said something about a horse, Peter? Here's an old picture!

Terry Martin: The horse I remember was Paul...perhaps the one in the pic.

Hillary Ripley: Yes my mistake! It is Paul. It says in this photo!

Terry Martin: He was a gentle giant of an animal. My friend Bruce Yeadon, Dave's stepson(?) would feed him hay and carrots in the barn. The horses used to winter on an island in Terance Bay I was told. Dave would walk them down from the end of the Brookside Road.

Terry Martin: Somewhere I have a picture of Dave Y's old barn burning down. Must see if I can locate it.

Deb MacDonald Muise: When I was "ten"ish, and my Great Uncle Dave was clearing the area that is now Melody/Northcliffe/Lakewood, we use to go back there to Explore. One time we stumbled on a "crocodile" skelton. It ended up being a horse's head and probably Paul.

Deb MacDonald Muise: Paul was a big work horse, not a riding horse. I "road" him a few times as a little kid. I was terrified of him, because he was so big but also, one of Uncle Dave's horses, I was never sure if it was Paul, took a bite out of his "butt". The horses pasture, was between Melody and the barn that was at the top of the hill.

Deb MacDonald Muise: There are two very old headstones somewhere around Morning Star and Blue Haven. Does anybody know where they are? I have pics from way back. I'll place them here when I find them.

Deb MacDonald Muise: I need to get my parents on here. They're the ones with the details and history. They both grew up out here.

Deb MacDonald Muise: At one time there was a Mill on my Grandparent's property it was located at the mouth of the river. There is still a piece that got taken down the river. My grandfather used it to mill his wood for the 5 cottages and one home that he built. It was used by others too.

Terry Martin: The skeleton head you found just may have been ""Paul". I was told that he had been "put down"when he got very old and sickly we were told. Also I vaguely remember the saw mill parts somewhere around the river. As kids we would fish there and hop rocks down the river from McGrath to Moosehorn lakes. I suppose the lumber mills were common around here as a way to get lumber for home building. I went to Prospect Elem entry the first year it opened and a distance behind the school were the remnants of another mill, big saw blades and chains and pullies.

Terry Martin: Please indulge me a bit here. I located this old picture of myself as 5 year old. We had rented the "No Back Door" cottage by the bridge/ river in '58 I believe. Clearly visible are the bridge supports and the then called "Sans Souci" cottage across the road. Any oldsters of my vintage may recognize the Davey Crockett "racoon skin" hat I was wearing, complete with tail. Very popular at the time.
Terry Martin in his Davey Crockett cap as a boy
Terry Martin: One first fishing rod in use as I "fished" the river/ brook that gave Brookside its name. Again in '58 and again " the hat". Gosh I feel old. My Dad reminded me I got upset because I dropped the rod in the water and couldn't retrieve it. He came back later in the day and found the rod with a small trout on the line. Can't buy memories like that.
Terry Martin fishing as a boy
Hillary Ripley: Those are great pictures Terry! I wish I could go back in time and live a little during those years - I was born in '92 and therefore didn't get to experience this.

Terry Martin: Simpler times for sure, but don't wish yourself older..Ha !

Scott Guthrie: Don't worry Hillary Ripley. Grab all your memories of your past,now and your future. Your stories will amaze your children and grandchildren as well. Savor these days and carry them with you.

Michelle Whittle: Deb MacDonald Muise I know the old headstones you are speaking of around Morning Star and Blue Haven. I believe they are located in the woods beside Lynwood Drive. I use to play in those woods when I was younger with friends and we saw them. I think they are close to the 'run in' on the map attached. I believe there is one for an infant in there.. I could be wrong it has been years. They were very bad shape at that time.
Location of old headstones near here...
Deb MacDonald Muise: Thanks Michelle Whittle. I'm still trying to find the photo I have.

Deb MacDonald Muise: I'm not sure it these are it. These ones might be on the trail behind the United Church on Prospect Road.
Drysdale Headstones
Terry Martin: The Drysdale family had a large land grant around the long bog area near Goodwood. When I moved here the old family farmhouse was still standing on the left side of road at end of long bog stretch. These stones may be related to some of those family members.

Deb MacDonald Muise: Where the apple trees are.

John Corbett: Have it on good authority that the attached is Jack, Joe & Frank Holt in front of Holt Café on Brunswick Street. A fore runner for the local Take-out & General Store?
Jack, Joe and Eddy Holt
Laura Hennebury: The Holt's was actually started by my grandfather, but fell into the hands of the Holt's through family. Before it was a store it was a house, then was converted into the store.

Bruce Hennebury: Laura is almost correct, let's say 95%.  It was built as a home and a store by my parents Phillip and Louisa (Lucy) Hennebury and was called, oddly enough, Hennebury's Corner Store. It was built in 1970-71 and we moved in over Christmas 1971. The area where the cash is now was the original store and was not very large. I shared a bedroom with my brother which was just about where the movies are now. The take out part was added a couple years later by Jack Holt and his wife Bride (my sister) and his brother Ed and his wife Carol. My parents retired and we moved to Terence Bay in 1975 and they sold the building to the two couples, when it became Holt's. It was originally a single story bungalow and in the mid 80's the second story was added and the entire main floor became the store. As for the picture above, you are correct it is Jack, Joe and Frank Holt, Jack in the picture being my brother in law Jack's father. As most of you probably know, Jack passed away just over a year ago and Carol (Ed's wife) passed away in 2001. Perhaps that's more than you wanted to know, but a bit of community history for you. 

Jamie Hennebury: I also remember a headstone in the woods by Lynwood for an infant boy. I believe it was dated 1906 and was very worn, almost unreadable.

Deb MacDonald Muise: I know I can't seem to find the other pic. I think it was a Drysdale.

Bride Hennebury Holt: Bruce you are absolutely right, except the men in the picture are Jack, Joe and Eddy Holt.

Terry Martin: Finally located this old picture. It's the original barn that was part of the Colhoun farm properties at the end of Brookside road. This is where the horse stables are now located I believe. We used to pass by the old barn when we would cross country ski on the Terance Bay trail and down to lake Frederick.
Barn at Colhoun Farm at the end of Brookside Rd.
Terry Martin: Also found a picture of the farm barn belonging to Dave Yeadon (as mentioned in previous threads). It was unused I think and a fire may have accidently started. The volunteer Fire Department looks to be overseeing the final burnout of the building. I can't recall when I took this picture, just remember walking up when we saw smoke while on a walk at the nearby bridge.Late '70's perhaps.
Firefighters at an accidental fire at Dave Yeadon's Barn
Wendy Salsman's son, Jeremy, found the two following motorcycle pictures taken on Brookside Road in 1930.  Jeremy works at Freedom Cycle and a client let him scan these photos.

Harvey Macdonald:  I would say this is the bridge at the river , with road leading in the direction of Yeaholm , the other photo almost to the location where the rabbits used to be ... Would be very interested if anyone could identify the cycle riders (Calhoughn maybe from below loon lake ? )  Sorry , I may have misled some of you when I said Yeaholm , not the street but the home of Mikes' grandparents , which was/is south of this bridge ..and looks very different now.

Deb MacDonald Muise: Oh , I get. The rider is looking up the hill. Could be because to the left of the rider seems like you can see lake through the trees.

Deborah Forbes: This bridge is on Brookside rd by the river

Terry Martin: First pic sure seems to me to be at the small bridge at end of Brookside. The trail heads towards the old Terence Bay trail perhaps and also to where the road went uphill to where Calhougns farm once was. Like Harvey suggested it may be the rider(s) could be Mr. Calhougns as he ran a bike repair shop in Halifax on Cunard Street. As for second pic, it could be anywhere on the road, pretty hard to identify the corner. 

Mike Yeadon:  I think the chances are very good that it was George and/or David Colquhoun. George Colquhoun owned a bike shop in Halifax and they sold motorbikes at that shop. George and David Colquhoun's mother was Elizabeth (Bessie) Yeadon and they eventually owned the original family farm which was at the end of the Brookside Road.


  1. I'm Mike Yeadon the son of Dale Yeadon who had done quite a bit of research on the family in Brookside and I thought I would share what I knew. The first family member who we believe came from England (John Yeadon) had a grant in Rawdon and subsequently moved to Spryfield. One of his children William Yeadon married Elizabeth Drysdale and her dowry was the property that is Brookside. The Drysdale family at that time had grants as well in the Goodwood area. Their son, John George Yeadon married Mary Anne Yeadon and they were the first family members to live at times in Brookside (they lived between Halifax and Brookside intermittently) They were the first burials in the Brookside Cemetery and on John George's death the property in Brookside was divided amongst five of their children (there were other children who are as well buried in the Brookside Cemetery). The five children who held property were Robert Yeadon (who was Charlie and Dave Yeadon's father and Deb Muise MacDonald's great grandfather), John Yeadon (no descendants) William Yeadon (who was Walter Yeadon's father and my great grandfather), Carteret Yeadon (who was George Yeadon's father and Hillary Ripley's great grandfather) Bessie Yeadon Colquhoun (who married Dave Yeadon and eventually owned the family farm and surrounding properties at the end of the road). All of the Yeadon's in Brookside share a common ancestor in John George Yeadon and Mary Anne Yeadon. They as well are the link between the family that live in Brookside and those that live in Spryfield.

    There we other families that lived here in the very early years and the names Carmichael, Hennebury and Stone come to mind. I believe that members of the Stone family are buried in the Brookside Cemetery although their graves are not marked with headstones. There are a group of rocks at the head of the lake that are named "Nelson's rocks" and I believe they are named after Nelson Stone.

  2. Street names in Brookside : YEAHOLM WAY: named after 1st three letters of Walt Yeadon and first 4 of Evelyn HOLMES Yeadon ( Walters wife ) ,, Eunice ( Walters mother ) Melissa ( Evelyns mother) Cathy ,Tracy ,Kelly, Shannon all Walters grand-daughters ( not necessarily in order )
    Harvey MacDonald

  3. I lived in Brookside for about 3 years as a child, good years mostly. Swimming and cracking my head open diving off the dock into McGrath Lake on the first day of summer vacation and the drowning of the Yeadon toddler (3 years old or so I think) were more painful. The family never recovered from the drowning in the brook, so heart-broken. We were tenants treated by the Yeadon's like family. We shared their pain and deeply mourned their loss.

  4. Just spoke with my mother, yes baby John was 3 years old when he drowned chasing his dog into the brook and the ice couldn't support him. Charlie and Dot were grief stricken, as was everyone. Are Susan and Janet around?

    1. Not sure who you are , but yes ,Janet and Susan are still living in Brookside across from the cemetery, Can you identify yourself please . If you prefer use ... regards Harvey MacDonald

  5. Hi Mike, I'm Grace (Yeadon) Smith's grandaughter. Dale was my father's first cousin. We used to camp in her front yard next door to you, summers for a week or two from about 1959 to 1966. I'd really like to know more Yeadon history. Please contact me.
    Lynn (Smith) Shwadchuck


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