Raymond Terrace Historic
Pioneer Hill Cemetery was dedicated as a Raymond Terrace burial ground in 1863. However many burials took place prior to this. The earliest inscription extant is dated 1840 but it is believed that Aboriginal burials occurred here or hereabouts in the 1830s. A covered display board at the cemetery provides considerable information about the history of the town and the cemetery.
Raymond Terrace Historic Cemetery was divided into four portions - Anglican (Church of England), Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Wesleyan (Methodist). Each portion was maintained by the respective churches and administered by a board of trustees appointed by the four denominations. After many years of neglect, responsibility for the cemetery was passed to the Port Stephens Council by a State Cemetery Act in 1967.
A major clean up of the site followed with many of the old stones repaired and re-erected. However this was followed by a period of vandalism when some of the stones were destroyed and others pushed over and badly broken. To decipher the details of some of these inscriptions where parts are missing has been a challenge that has not always been successful.
The Raymond Terrace Historical Society in association with the Port Stephens Council listed all remaining inscriptions in 1975 and from this and other research conducted at the time, it is believed that only about half of the burials that have occurred here over the years are now marked. The Society also conducted a further restoration of the site as a Bi-Centennial project in 1988. The name of the cemetery was subsequently changed from Raymond Terrace Historic Cemetery to Pioneer Hill Cemetery.
Ruth King visited the site on several occasions up to January 2010 and made digital images of all visible inscriptions. Her list of inscriptions for this cemetery has been compiled with reference to the NSW indices of births, deaths and marriages and to the Australian War Memorial online nominal roll for World War 1 for additional information.
Pioneer Hill Cemetery is about 1km east of the CBD, on the northern side of Elizabeth Avenue, opposite the current Raymond Terrace General Cemetery.
Pioneer Hill Cemetery is administered by Port Stephens Council. For further information, contact Council at PO Box 42, Raymond Terrace NSW 2324; phone 02 4980 0255; email email@example.com
13 Feb 2010
31 Jan 2010
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