Blue Mount Cemetery, Blackwood.

Blue Mount Cemetery, Blackwood, Victoria.  (Originally called Blue Mountain)

By Margot Hitchcock, Historian for the Blackwood & District Historical Society. 

PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE COPYRIGHT TO MARGOT HITCHCOCK – PLEASE DO NOT USE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.  ©

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 North of Blackwood on the right hand side before Garlick’s Lead, Newbury and Trentham is the Blue Mount Cemetery near the property of ‘Kattaminga’, but only accessible via Tower Track, off Old Blackwood Road, Newbury. (coming from Blackwood turn right onto Old Blackwood Road, then right onto Tower Track – take note Tower track only accessible by a 4 wheel drive vehicle as very steep and rough  in parts.)  The only way you will find the cemetery is to look for an old post and wire fence on the left, before the Tower on the hill.   Very overgrown in 2016.)

Early records show families, miners  and people living in the  Blue Mount area.  The Blue Mount cemetery was gazetted as a public burial ground on the 18th June 1875 after a petition was received dated August 20th, 1874 and signed by 42 inhabitants of the Blue Mount District.  The petition started off by proclaiming the following – “The humble petition of the inhabitants of the Blue Mountain District – the want of proclaiming a burial ground in this district – shortly after the Blackwood diggings were opened, deceased persons in the Blue Mountain district were  interred on the Blue Mountain and have continued to be interred there up to the present.   The number of interments amount to about sixty, and the inhabitants here would like to be interred when they die near their friends, and your petitioners respectfully request that you will proclaim the ground referred to on the Blue Mountain a public burial ground and your petitioners as are duty bound will ever pray etc.” (Courtesy of the authors friend, Helen Harris O.A.M.)

Early Digger records of Blue Mount show the first birth recorded in 1857 was that of James Embrey born to Jacob and Susan Embrey.  A lot of early birth records showed Blue Mount just as Blue or Blue Mt, Blue Mtn or Blue Mts.  There were 804 records of birth, death and marriages in variations of the spelling of Blue Mount between 1857 and 1888 and 134 births for Blue Mount in that time, with 21 deaths recorded.  Occupations of the men who signed the petition were farmer, carpenter, miner, cooper, butcher, labourer, teacher, blacksmith, and storekeeper.

On researching back through the author’s copies of The Blackwood Historical Society’s magazine,   ‘The Blackwood Recorder’ of which the author was the Editor she found in Vol 8 – No. 2 October 1982 the article she wrote on the Society’s trip to the Blue Mount Cemetery on August 29th 1982.

This visit was following their general meeting where the members had a picnic and barbeque in the cemetery, followed by indexing of the names on tombstones in the cemetery onto index cards.  Some headstones were badly cracked and broken, but the members were able to obtain some data below.©

Names on Headstones in the Blue Mount Cemetery.  1982.

 Beach – no other names or date.  (see photo and info below)

Bowes – Timothy(uncle) died 27 Sept,1952.

Fletcher – Charles died 8 Oct, 1891. 63 yrs.

Fletcher – Ellen died 22 Feb 1929.  84 yrs.

Fletcher ­- Esther M. died 9 Feb 1969. 83 yrs.

Fletcher – John died 5 Jan 1950. 78 yrs.

Fletcher – Margaret died 16 June 1962.  85 yrs.

Fletcher – Maria died 11 July 1961. 86 yrs.

Higgins – Jane died 29 March 1938. 74 yrs.

Higgins – Thomas died 18 July 1942.  83 yrs.

Lightly – Edward died 3 Feb 1957 82 yrs. (buried with Higgins)

Lightly – Ellen Elizabeth died 21 Aug 1966 80 yrs (as above)

Miller – Eliza died 1 Feb 1890.  69 yrs.

Miller – May Gibson died 19 Nov 1880. 10 yrs.

Miller – William died 16 June 1905 (Sexton and Undertaker, Cemetery records all burnt in his house)

Robson – Catherine died 17 Oct 1962. 83 yrs.

Robson – Henry died 4 Sept 1880.  age 18 yrs.

Robson – James died 19 June 1940. 68 yrs. (Engine Driver at Trewhella foundry – died on job)

Robson – Rhoda died 23 May 1883. 6 yrs. (parents, Thomas Robson and Charlotte Withel)

Trewhella – Lucy died 17 March 1871 age 12 days

Trewhella – William died 18 Aug 1874 age 5 yrs and 10 months. (children of Matthew and Ann Trewhella).       ©

For info on deaths at Blue Mount see Australian cemeteries web site –

http://www.australiancemeteries.com/vic/hepburn/bluemountaindata.htm

and current photos – 
http://www.australiancemeteries.com/…/bluemountain.htm

The author also wrote of some information on the cemetery she was given by the late Mrs Maud Noble from an address by Mr George Trewhella to the Kyneton Historical society courtesy of Bruce McKenzie of The Trentham Historical Society.  The interesting information states – “Blue Mount cemetery almost on the mount, is 3,000 feet above sea level.  The first person buried there was a Mrs. Garlick, wife of the founder of the locality known as Garlick’s.  The year before she died, at a picnic held on the spot, Mrs. Garlick said that she would like to be buried there, and being the first to die in the district her wish was granted.  Burial at the time were free.” (In the digger records there are many Garlick names but none give the place of death as Blue Mount of a lady who could be the Mrs Garlick. Most of the Garlick births in Blue Mount are to John Richard Garlick and Martha Davie with their first child recorded as early as 1861 in Blackwood, and the last child in 1891.) ©

Also recorded by Mrs M. Noble was the fact that in 1969 a Mr. Clarry Arnold of Newbury stated that a Mrs Garlick was buried under the big laurel tree to the right of the Blue Mount cemetery gate.  She was the first woman buried there, but no sign of the grave remains and the records were burnt many years ago.    They had records from 1932 it is believed, and Mr. Arnold was caretaker of the cemetery in 1969.  Barry Thurgood also stated that as a boy he remembers finding Chinese pottery under the laurel tree. ©

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left – James Robson, Engine Driver, Trewhella foundry, died on the job 1940. Courtesy Margot Hitchcock 1976. 

above right – Grave of William (died 1905) and Eliza Miller (died 1890) and May Gibson Miller (died 1880, age 10 years).  Courtesy Margot Hitchcock 1976.

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Monument erected in the Blue Mount cemetery in 1994 to the Beach family courtesy WindscreenCam from Internet.

In January 2016 I went to the Blue Mount cemetery and took some photos of the headstones that were still visible.  This is how it looks now.. (click to enlarge photo.)

Photos Courtesy Margot Hitchcock Jan 2016. 

PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE COPYRIGHT TO MARGOT HITCHCOCK – PLEASE DO NOT USE WITHOUT HER PERMISSION.  ©

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What the Blue Mount looks like now – very overgrown in parts. Jan. 2016.

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Maxine photographing name on tombstone under Laurel tree.

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Graves in area not so overgrown at Blue Mount cemetery. Jan 2016.

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Grave of Charles Fletcher Blue Mount cemetery. Jan 2016.

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Grave of John Fletcher Blue Mount cemetery. Jan 2016.

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Grave of Edward and Ellen Lightley Blue Mount cemetery. Jan 2016.

tower-track

Four Wheel drive track up to Blue Mount cemetery.

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Blue Mount tower on top of hill with Margot Hitchcock.  Jan. 2016.