Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Pakenham Cemetery tour

The Narre Warren and District Family History Group conducted a tour of the Pakenham Cemetery on Sunday, October 30 2011. It looked at the graves of some of the local pioneer families including the Bourkes, the Dores, the Aherns, the Mulcahys - they all have roads named after them. We also looked at the grave of Mary Frawley, the source of Frawley Road in Hallam. Another grave we visited was that of James and Susannah Thewlis - the source of Thewlis Road which leads to the cemetery.

The site for the Pakenham Cemetery was gazetted on February 13, 1865 and the first Trustees were appointed on May 8 the same year.

From the Victorian Government Gazette, February 21, 1865 p. 459

The original Trustees were John Startup, Richard Fortune, Michael Bourke, Thomas Mulcahy and George Ritchie. They are all buried at the cemetery, apart from Richard Fortune. Richard's wife Jane is buried at Pakenham.

From the Victorian Government Gazette, May 23, 1865 p. 1158

John Startup leased the Mt Ararat run of 17,000 acres (6,800 hectares) which covered the area from Pakenham to Drouin. He later purchased 336 acres (135 hectares) on the corner of Mt Ararat Road and Bald Hills Road. Michael and Kitty Bourke established the Latrobe Inn on what is now the Princes Highway, near Toomuc Creek, around 1850. Michael Bourke also acted as the Post Master for nearly 30 years. Kitty Bourke kept the Hotel and Post Office from the time of her husband’s death in 1877 until 1910. The Latrobe Inn was a Cobb & Co. coach stop and for obvious reasons was later known as Bourke’s Hotel. George Ritchie was the owner of the farm Bald Hill, based around Ryan Road and McDonald's Drain Road, and south of the railway line. George Ritchie’s sister Jane was married to Richard Fortune, another Trustee. Richard died in 1868 leaving Jane with seven young children. Jane continued to farm at Nar Nar Goon and died in 1900. Thomas Mulcahy was a Pakenham landowner

Photo credits: The Pakenham Cemetery photographs were taken by Lynne Bradley.

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