The church cemetery is situated adjacent to the 8th Line of Ramsay Township, immediately north of the Town of Carleton Place, about a kilometre north of the church.
St. James Cemetery was founded on what is known as “Clergy Lands.” This land was granted to Protestant Churches under the 1791 Constitution. Over the years, the granting of these lands became a political issue and eventually the lands reverted to the Crown. In 1856 the parish of St. James purchased the land for the sum of 100 pounds. For many years, the land supplied the wood for heating the Church and Rectory.
St. James Cemetery dates back to circa 1834, the date of the founding of the Parish. Sometime between 1871 and 1890, George Dummert, who had emigrated from England in 1871, was asked to draw up a plan of plots for the cemetery. Prior to then there wasn’t an official plan.
In 1903, a vault was constructed and for many years it was used by all denominations in Carleton Place. (In Canada the earth often freezes six feet deep and a temporary interment space is needed until the spring). Many of the pioneers of the Town of Carleton Place and many of St. James’ faithful parishioners rest in our cemetery. Decoration Sunday is held on the middle Sunday of August.
The Right Reverend Robert Jefferson, Bishop of Ottawa from 1939-54, in his book Faith of our Fathers refers to St. James Cemetery as “now regarded as one of the finest private cemeteries in Canada.” The Parish of St. James is proud of that accolade.