Monday, September 01, 2008

Queenstown Cemetery

There are nine local history groups in the Shire of Nillumbik. This is the first of a series to a highlight the interest areas and work that these groups do.

Photo: Rod Beveridge Australian Cemeteries

Queenstown Cemetery is a pioneer cemetery established during the gold rush of the 1850s at the site of the first mining village of the Caledonia Diggings. The Trust administers the cemetery with support of The Friends and Relations of Queenstown Cemetery and endeavours to maintain and preserve it for future generations.
Heritage walks of the Queenstown Pioneer Cemetery can be arranged by appointment. Regular working bees are held a the cemetery. Historical research workshops and social activities are also held. All funds raised and donations made are used for cemetery restoration.

Friends and Relations of Queenstown Cemetery will host its Annual General Meeting 2008 on Sunday 14th September at the Panton Hill Living and Learning Centre.

The first in a series of booklets entitled A Link to the past : stories on the goldminers, pioneers and settlers of the district buried in Queenstown Cemetery will also be launched on the day.

The first one George and Emily Gray and "Cleir Hills Nursery & Homestead, Cottlesbridge
describes the life of George, his wife Jane and thier two sons, Brooks and James. They are buried in Queenstown Cemetery with no headstone or marker. Brooks died of diptheria in 1888 aged nine and James of typhoid fever in 1894 aged nineteen. The lives of George, Jane and children is an aspiring story, representative of many of the struggling immigrant families who came for gold, a new life and successfully pioneered the district.

The Gray's nd Hurst's of Allwood House, Hurstbridge (the settlement of Henry Hurst) are related, either by blood or marriage to George and Jane and are honoured in theh Hurst family cemetery. The common thread that runs through their story are the historical fruit tree nurseries of Alwood House, Cleir Hills and Pheasant Creek, Kinglake and the inter-marriage of local families. Many of these people are buried at Queenstown.

This new book is based with permission on George Gray & Cleir Hills Nursery & Homestead published in 2002 by Geoff Walker.

Queenstown Cemetery contact: Elizabeth Wykes Phone 9718 1245
Heritage Nillumbik
Grave Concerns newsletter and notice of annual General Meeting issue no 2 2008

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