Some cemeteries are definitely on the spookier side of the spectrum, aren't they? Gloomy and dark, they are send-a-shiver-up-your-spine kind of places. The old pioneer cemetery at Waratah isn't really one of those though. Well. It kind of is in that it's very out of the way and a little run-down. Some of the headstones are damaged, some are (of course) very old and it's difficult to read the details. It hasn't necessarily been neglected, but it looks like a place not many people visit regularly any more. When we went, a pair of other Sunday drivers came along for a look as well. I got the feeling that was the most of the living this place saw in quite a while (apart from whoever's in charge of mowing the grass and keeping it tidy.)
There are a small number of graves and the cemetery looks out onto farmland - paddocks, trees and hills. It's less on the spooky side of the spectrum and closer to the peaceful side, probably due to its isolation.
My mum is into family history and genealogy and has been for a long time, I remember visiting cemeteries with her throughout the years, wandering among the headstones and trying to piece together the stories of these people - related or not. Obviously, you can get some detail from their headstones, but there's plenty of guessing to fill in the gaps. In this particular cemetery, we noticed that some members of what appeared to be the same families were located in different parts of the cemetery. I wonder why that is? What's the story behind that happening? I also wonder about the other people buried there, there's a lot of space at the back and no headstones. Have they been moved? Where to and why? (So many questions.)
If you're interested in Tasmanian history and family history a couple of other cemeteries to visit are the one at Stanley and the Mersey Bluff pioneer cemetery at Devonport.
PHOTOGRAPHER . TASMANIA . AUSTRALIA
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