When we returned to Fort Anne for the grave yard tour, we found that we were the first to arrive, soon others joined the group, and by the time the tour was set to start Mr. Melanson had quite a following of curious night seekers. Everyone was given a candle powered lantern to carry, and as the last bit of light faded to black we set off on the tour under the ethereal glow of lantern lights that bobbed and waved through the darkness as we walked. The lanterns made an atmosphere that was wonderful to photograph, and coaxed us back to a time before electric lights. Alan Melanson who gives the tour is a wonderful host, an knowledgeable historian, and seasoned storyteller. Decked out in period attire he gives an interesting account of the traditions surrounding funeral attire before we begin the walk.
The tour takes about an hour to an hour and a half and there was not one minute that was not entertaining, and informative. Alan tells of the people who lay in the graves that you visit, intertwined with stories of Annapolis Royal and the soldiers garrisoned at Fort Anne.
When you look at the tombstones in the graveyard each with different symbols and art adorning them, Alan explains the variety and significance of the stones mixed with funny stories that bring the graveyard alive.
So if you decide to visit Annapolis Royal make sure you plan on staying the night and taking in a tour of one of Canada’s oldest graveyards. You’ll be glad you did.