Captain James Fluke

Plot Q, Lot 20, Private Mausoleum
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

James Fluke was born in County Down, Northern Ireland in 1824 and came to Canada with his mother sometime prior to 1829. In 1844 he is listed as a merchant in Williamsburg (now Blackstock), Cartwright Township, Canada West (now Ontario). In recent years many people were under the impression the title over his mausoleum meant that James Fluke was a steamship captain. Some even believed he sailed on the Canada-Australia route. In fact, Fluke’s title comes from the fact that he was a militia captain in the 3rd Company, Cartwright Volunteers, 45th Battalion, West Durham Regiment. Fluke also ran a hotel in Blackstock, which was called the Australia House, a fact that perhaps accounts for the Australia confusion. Fluke was also a Divisional Court Clerk. He operated a sawmill, a gristmill, and supervised the construction of the local drill shed. In 1877, while investigating a smoking chimney, Fluke, then 53, fell from a ladder and suffered serious injuries. This led to his retirement a few years later and in 1882, Fluke, now described as a wealthy man, made his way to Toronto where he and his wife Charlotte are listed in the 1883 city directory as living at 340 King Street West. In the 1890 version of the directory they are on the same street though now at number 444. Fluke died at this latter address on April 12, 1894 at the age of 70. Originally buried in Plot C, he was moved to the new “Captain Fluke” mausoleum, which, it is assumed, Charlotte had erected, in her husband’s memory. Three years later Charlotte married Samuel Staples. She passed away on October 27, 1920 and was buried in the “Captain Fluke” mausoleum.

Mike Filey
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide
Second Edition Revised and Expanded