The Waterdown library building, when it was located on Mill Street North. A new library branch has since been constructed on the former Flamborough Town Hall site on Dundas St. East. – Flamborough Archives photo
After the tombstones were installed in the old library in 1979, the elevator took “unexplained trips all on its own,” said head librarian Lorraine Eastwood.
In the beginning, the library staff thought there was something wrong, so the company responsible for the elevator installation was asked to come and examine the elevator. But both the manufacturer and the inspectors reported that there was nothing wrong with the mechanics or the wiring.
A representative from the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, which regulated elevators, sat in front of the elevator for two and a half hours waiting for it to do something, and it did nothing.
The most publicized performance of the Library ghost occurred in February 1985 during a taping by Burlington Cablenet. They were taping interviews with Eastwood and Flamborough Review publisher John Bosveld for future programs about Waterdown. As Eastwood talked about the various library locations and how the tombstones came to be mounted on the wall, the elevator suddenly opened.
Later, as Bosveld was being interviewed by Maureen Dawson, he mentioned the story about the discovery of the tombstones – and the doors opened again. When he finished, the doors closed and the elevator ascended to the second floor.
The wording of a new monument stone in Union Cemetery corrects the name of Mr. Brown’s wife from Marion to Merren, revealing an error on the original stones. It is believed that the ghost in the library is Merren Brown, making sure that people realize her name was spelled incorrectly, and ensuring that people remember the role she and her husband played in the establishment of Waterdown.
The community of Waterdown has a connection to the tombstones and it was felt that the tombstones had to be preserved. Thanks to the determination of councillor Judi Partridge, Hamilton Public Library Director Karen Anderson, and Facilities Supervisor Mike Sands, money and experts were found to move, restore and remount the tombstones. They look better than ever.
The ghost is part of the library’s history. Now that the tombstones are in the Archives, has she moved with them?
– Courtesy of the Flamborough Archives & Heritage Society