Pioneer Graves

Transferred from original burial ground

The present Cemetery was opened in 1856, but before that (between 1853 and 1856) the town’s burial ground was in Loch Street, where the old Congregational Church and adjacent buildings now stand.

With the opening of the new Cemetery in 1856, it was decided to exhume the bodies of those buried in the Loch Street graveyard and transfer them to the new Cemetery. The arrangements for this transfer of bodies took place in July and August, 1857 and on 24th August, the first twelve bodies were exhumed and placed in a temporary “dead house” to await reburial.

Between 24th August and 1st September, 1857, sixty four bodies were exhumed and placed in the dead house. Where necessary, new coffins were provided.

One or two of the exhumed bodies were found to have been buried between two sheets of bark, and one body was found without coffin or bark. An empty baby’s coffin was also found.

On 1st September, 1857, the bodies were taken to the new Cemetery. They were escorted in a formal procession, headed by the clergy and the Chairman of the Town Council and other Councillors.

They were reburied in a designated area in the new Cemetery and a fence was erected around the area.

Today, a memorial wall has been erected to mark the area where those early residents of Beechworth where buried after their exhumation and transfer from the original burial ground.

Beechworth Public Cemetery

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