Nile_Hill_Cemetery_West_Coast.jpg

Charleston Old Cemetery, Nile Hill

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Charleston, Buller, West Coast, New Zealandmap
Surnames/tags: Mouat Harper Dennehy
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Location
The Nile Hill Cemetery is on Cemetery Road Charleston, Buller District, West Coast 7892 New Zealand. Coordinates: -41.89916, 171.43941. Mouat, Harper, Dennehy and other pioneers of Charleston are buried there. [1]

Nile Hill Cemetery Entrance.

Charleston
The Charleston gold field covered a section of the Pakihis from Four Mile Stream in the south (the northern limit of Brighton’s terraces) to beyond the Nile River in the north. Unlike other gold fields to the south, Charleston had virtually no rain forest. Boggy flats and terraces were covered with sour a greyish-white leached soils - pakihi. Gold was found in parallel black sand leads (buried streams and rivers) beneath ten to fifteen feet of shingle. The weight on the river or stream fine gold bearing beds (leached soil, black sand and mud) became hard concretions. Iron shod wooden stampers powered by waterwheels and horses (steam after 1867) appeared on the field to break up these concretions.

The Pakihi Cement Crushing and Gold Mining Company was able to crush a hundred tons of gold bearing cement in a day. The cement was then burnt before the fine gold could be amalgamated. Charleston which had 220 houses, Main (Princes) Street which ran in a straight line to Constant Bay and several shops which in July 1867 had plate glass windows. The early 1867 census, at the peak of the Charleston rush, showed 5,000 on the entire Charleston (Tauhinau) field and 6,000 on the Brighton field ten miles to the south. From 1975 to 1979 remains of about 99 hotels were found in the Charleston area. The last surviving European Hotel was demolished after the 100 year festivities around 1968. Hannahs shoes had the very first shop in Charleston in 1867. Marys Hotel, demolished in 1970, at the south end of the nine mile beach to the north of Charleston was said to be gateway to Charleston.

Open cast coal mines replaced gold mining in Charleston with the Mowart’s and McGlockland’s mines which supplying coal to nearby Westport. Gold continued to be mined on the south end of nine mile beach up to the late 1970s. In the 1990s, seals from Cape Foulwind near Westport moved south to the Charleston coast and made camp at the mouth of the Brimalaw creek about 2 km south of Constant bay. Wrecked ships, believed to be from the gold rush times, have been located around the mouths of both Constant Bay and its neighbour Joyce Bay.

Charleston and Constant Bay are said to have been named in honour of Captain Charles Bonner, skipper of the supply ship Constant, who risked his life to bring food to over 1,000 starving miners cut off from food supplies by high rivers and storms. In early mining days the Bay offered deeper water than it does now. But the narrow passage in was still death-defying and the only way a ship could tie up safely was into giant iron rings set into the rocks on each side of the Bay.

Nile Cemetery Charleston
There are two local cemeteries - one for the Protestants, north on Nile Hill, and one for the Catholics 400 metres south. In April 1882 'The Gazette' notified that Messrs Walker, Gardner, Harper, Brown and Moore had been appointed as Trustees of the Nile Hill Cemetery.[2] Some headstones tell stories of early and often violent death. 'Find A Grave' has 179 memorials for persons interred at the cemetery. 'Billion Graves' has 14 records. The Cemetery is no longer open for burials.

Burials"'

Early Settlers from Scotland
Gilbert Harper was born in about 1833 in Unst, Shetland Islands, Scotland and he died 29 May 1882, age 39 years. As a former Grand Master and highly respected officer, his funeral was conducted by the Loyal Charleston Lodge. [3]
Barclay Mouat was born 24 February 1838 in Unst, Shetland Islands, Scotland and died 29 Oct 1918 (aged 80). Barclay, of Rahui, Charleston, had been in New Zealand for 49 years and worked mainly beachcombing. He left an adult family of five sons and two daughters. [4] His wife Marion (Harper) Mouat of Nine Mile beach, Charleston, was born in 1840 in Unst, Shetland Islands, Scotland and died 27 July1886 (aged 45–46). Their two daughters Elizabeth Mouat born 15 February 1862 in Unst, Shetland Islands, Scotland died13 Apr 1892 (aged 30) in Charleston, Buller District, West Coast, New Zealand and Elizabeth “Betty” Mouat Anderson was born 31 October 1862 in Unst, Shetland Islands, Scotland and died 13 October 1951 (aged 88). Williamina Mouat Johnston, sister of Barclay Mouat, born 29 December 1874 in Unst, Shetland Islands, Scotland died 3 January 1899 (aged 24) in Charleston, Buller District, West Coast, New Zealand. They are all buried in the Nile Hill Cemetery, Charleston.
Fox Family Headstone
Early Settlers from England
William Fox was born in 1829 in Devon, England. He died 3 Nov 1901 (aged 71–72) in Westport, Buller District, West Coast, New Zealand and was buried at Nile Hill Cemetery, Charleston, Buller District, West Coast, New Zealand. His wife Mary Ann Fox was born in 1835 and died 3 Apr 1893 (aged 57–58) in the Buller District, West Coast, New Zealand. Two of their sons, William age 8 years and George age 5 years were accidentally drowned and are buried in the Nile Hill Cemetery.
John Morgan Powell JP, General Merchant, butcher, baker, farmer, and miner, Charleston, was born in Monmouthshire, England, in the year 1842, and brought up to farming. In 1864 he Powell emigrated to Australia, and to Charleston, New Zealand in 1865 and established his businesses, later taking his sons into partnership. John Morgan was chairman, secretary, and treasurer of the Brighton and Charleston school committees, a member of the Buller County Council and an Oddfellow. He a Grand Master of the Loyal Charleston Lodge, Manchester Unity. He had a farm of about 500 acres in connection with the business of J. M. Powell and Sons, and an elevating claim on the Nine Mile Beach, where the suction elevating principle was first successfully applied. In 1866 he married, and they had three sons and one daughter. John Morgan Powell died 11 March 1934 (aged 91–92). [5] His wife Ann Powell was born in 1835 and died 27 October 1913 (aged 77–78). Their son Robert James Hinston Powell, born in 1871 was the youngest member of the firm of J. M. Powell and Sons, devoting himself entirely to the firm's business. He died 13 May 1911 (aged 39–40) in Auckland, New Zealand, but was buried in the family plot at the Nile Hill Cemetery, Charleston, Buller District, West Coast, New Zealand.
Early Australian Settlers
George Flinders Hurburgh was born in Flinders Island, Bass Strait, Tasmania, in the year 1844. He learned bost building. In 1862 he emigrated to Lyttelton New Zealand and settled in Charleston in 1866 where he became Permanent Secretary of the Loyal Charleston Lodge, a contractor, undertaker and mining speculator in Charleston. George was engaged in mining for some time, also in bridge-building and contracting, and had a crushing claim at Addison's Flat. He was secretary of the Charleston school committee, and, as a Freemason, had been Worshipful Master of the Charleston Kilwinning Lodge. George died 3 May 1928. His wife Matilda Eveline Hurburgh was born in 1950 in Brighton, England and died in Charleston 26 December 1899 age 48 years.
Children and Infants
Minnie Thomson Crumpton, daughter of Catharine and Thomas Crumpton, was born in 1870 [6] and died 13 May 1873, age 3 years. [7][8]
Percival Trainer Bear, first child of Sarah and James Percival Bear, teacher from Plymouth, Devon, England, was born 15 June 1870 [9] in Charleston, Buller District, West Coast, New Zealand and died 13 August 1870 (aged almost 2 months.) [10] in Charleston, Buller District, West Coast, New Zealand.
Harper 10 year old Headstone.
James Harper son of William and Joanne Harper was born in 1889 and died 16 June 1889 (aged less–than 1 year). Annie Maude Harper, son of Joanne and William Harper, born in 1891 died at age 7 months 16 January 1892. Gilbert Harper Jr, son of Margaret and James Harper, was born 3 March 1873 in Unst, Shetland Islands, Scotland and died14 Mar 1883 (aged 10) in Charleston, Buller District, West Coast, New Zealand.
Robert Graham Franklyn Brougham, son of Caroline Jane (Heath) Brougham and Thomas Godsall Brougham, was born in 1879 and died13 September 1879 (aged less–than 1 year)
Charles Augustus Winterburnson of Ada Elizabeth (Lucas) and Arthur Augustus Winterburn, was born 3 July 1884 and died 1 April 1885 (aged 8 months). His sisters Emily Winterburn born 8 December 1885 died 25 March 1886 (aged 3 months) and Violet Winterburn born 13 April 1887 died 29 August 1887 (aged 4 months). Their brother George E Winterburn, born in 1880 died 12 August 1891 (aged 10–11).
William Fox, brother of George and son of Mary Ann and William Fox, was born in 1865 and was accidentally drowned 11 October 1873 when he was eight years old. George Fox, son of Mary Ann and William Fox, was born in 1888 and drowned when he was five years old 8 January 1893.
Nile Hill Cemetery

Links

Sources

  1. West Coast New Zealand History
  2. 1882 Newspaper: "Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand"
    Westport Times, Volume XVI, Issue 1995, 25 April 1882, Page 2
    Papers Past Article (accessed 23 March 2024)
  3. 1882 Newspaper: "Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand"
    Westport Times, Volume XVI, Issue 2008, 9 June 1882, Page 2
    Papers Past Article (accessed 23 March 2024)
  4. 1917 Newspaper: "Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand"
    Hokitika Guardian, 1 November 1917, Page 3
    Papers Past Article (accessed 23 March 2024)
  5. Memorial: Find a Grave (has image)
    Find A Grave: Memorial #155456330 (accessed 23 March 2024)
    Memorial page for John Morgan Powell (1842-11 Mar 1934), citing Nil e Hill Cemetery, Charleston, Buller District, West Coast, New Zealand; Maintained by Southern Man (contributor 48043025).
  6. NZ BDM Birth Reg No 1870/24550 Crumpton Minnie Thompson Catharine Thomas
  7. NX BDM Death Reg No 1873/11348 Crumpton Minnie Thomson 3Y
  8. Memorial: Find a Grave (no image)
    Find A Grave: Memorial #166235747 (accessed 23 March 2024)
    Memorial page for Minnie Crumpton (unknown-13 May 1873), citing Nile Hill Cemetery, Charleston, Buller District, West Coast, New Zealand; Maintained by Cyndi (contributor 47314338).
  9. NZ BDM Birth: 1870/24586 Bear Percival Trainer to Sarah and Percival
  10. NZ BDM Death: 1870/8190 Bear Percival Trainor 2 Months

Also:

  • May, Philip Ross,"The West Coast Gold Rushes", Pegasus, Christchurch, 1967.




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