Cultural Insights to Australia 15: Remnants of the Past (iii)

Insight 15: Remnants of the Past (iii)

In the previous ‘Cultural Insight’ we looked at the historic cemetery at Walkerville, and reflected on the hard lives of those who lives in this town during the ‘lime-burning era’, from 1878 to 1926. Newborn babies and young children lie in this historic cemetery, as do adults and the elderly.

21g Cemetery721e Cemetery5

A sign nearby reads,

Please respect this cemetery and help protect the graves by not touching the headstones. Only a few families could afford headstones. The timber crosses have long since turned to dust or been destroyed by bushfires. The recent white picket fence replicates the original seen in photographs.

The early photographs show this area as bare and empty of trees. That same sign explains:

Most of the original trees were cut down to fuel the lime kilns. Later, the vegetation was often burnt to encourage new growth for stock to feed on.

Now this place is a pleasant forest, but when I see these pictures, I always feel great respect for the pioneers of early Australia. Rest in peace. We owe you a great debt.