Dyer Memorial is a stone monument reaching toward the heavens, at the top of which rest the cremated remains of two remarkable people. Clifton Dyer, a successful lawyer from Detroit in the United States, erected the structure as final resting place for his wife Betsy Brown.
Clifton and Betsy Brown spent their honeymoon in Muskoka in 1916. They returned twenty years later and from that time they enjoyed their remaining summers sheltered in a small cabin on the side of towering banks of the East River. The cabin is gone but the woodland retains the charisma of years past.
In winter, Clifon and Betsy would return to their summer home in the Muskoka forest by horse and sled. They loved to ski on the hills near where the monument now stands.
Betsy died in 1956, almost forty years after her marriage to Clifton. Clifton immediately commissioned the construction of the Memorial as the final resting place for her ashes. He was steadfast in his desire that Betsy would never leave this land of wonder she had loved so dearly. It took one year to complete construction of the monument. Betsy’s ashes were then encased in a stonewall near the peak of the Memorial overlooking the careless East River slumbering in the valley below.
The grounds surrounding the monument required two more years of clearance and landscaping before completion. (Progress was sporadic during winters.) Clifton died in 1959, three years after Betsy’s death. His cremated ashes were placed within the monument next to his wife’s ashes. Betsy would never be alone again.
To arrive at the monument you must journey up seventy-three flagstone steps leading to magnificently landscaped grounds, flowerbeds, streams and ponds.
On Williamsport Rd. north of Hunstville, Ontario the way to the Memorial is easily accessed. There is the risk of its gradual seclusion as the forest strives to claim this sacred ground as its own by repossession of the road leading to it.
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