Stirling (Haunted Stream) Cemetery

 

Another old burial ground/cemetery about 18 kilometres further north from the mining town of Deptford (north from Bairnsdale in the Gippsland area), was located in the small gold mining township of Stirling (Haunted Stream). The township is located at the junction of Tierney's Creek and Haunted Stream and was named after James Stirling who was a well-known geologist stationed at one time in the Omeo area. Access to what is left of the old town today is via four wheel-drive vehicle, driving along the Haunted Stream Track for about 10 kilometres west from the Omeo Highway.

The township, also called, Haunted Stream, was established about 1882, but there was alluvial mining in the area in the 1860s. Reef mining came into being in the 1880s and the township developed and became the centre for a number of other mining communities including Dawson City during 1880s. During the town's peak period there was a population of about 300, but by about 1920 the township was reaching its end. Today the town is just about deserted. State School No 2845, Haunted Stream, was opened on the 17th October, 1887 with John Hanigan as Head Teacher. There was an average of 15 pupils at the school during its period of operation and in 1889 the school's name was changed to Stirling. The school ceased to operate in the early 1920s after entering a period of part-time teaching with Ensay State School in 1914 and Brookville School in 1917. The Mechanics Institute Hall in the town was used for the school during the week, the church as well as for many social functions.

Research to date has identified at least six burials in the Stirling cemetery/burial ground. No record can be found so far that a cemetery was gazetted or trustees appointed; nor detailed information on the cemetery. It would appear that the burial ground (cemetery) was provided in the township to meet the needs of the families and people living and working there. Burials in the cemetery include:

 

  • The first burial identified to date was in 1887 for a James HOUGHTON, of Haunted Stream, aged 14 years, who was accidentally shot. There was an inquiry into his death held on 8th April, 1887. He was buried at Haunted Stream on 9 April, 1887. His parents were William Houghton, Miner and Mary Whitehead.
  • Caesar Augustus Bracewell BRIDESON married Charlotte Amelia Jones in 1905 in Ballarat and the family moved to Stirling. They had four
    children. Caesar was a miner but he also had a winery on Haunted Stream where he made blackberry and elderberry wine to sell to the people of Stirling. On the 14th June, 1909 their second child, Ada, was born at Stirling. On the 16th June, 1909 Ada passed away from jaundice, aged 2 days, and was buried in the Stirling Cemetery. Ada's mother, Charlotte Amelia Brideson (nee Jones) died in Bairnsdale in March, 1910, aged 26 years. She was buried in Bairnsdale Cemetery on the 12th March, 1910. Note: It is believed that the Brideson family in Deptford was not directly related to this Brideson family.
  • In July, 1912 twin children of James William SWETNAM and Rosaline Mary Stewart passed away, aged 1 day and were buried in the cemetery on the 31st July, 1912. Both children, a male and a female, were listed as "not named".
  • John COHEN, aged 34 years and a Storekeeper, died 6th August, 1892 at Stirling from a dynamite explosion. There was a write up of the
    event in the "Omeo Telegraph" on the 13th August, 1892. An inquest was held into this death on the 9th August, 1892 as it was believed he was murdered. John Cohen was not married and was born at Omeo, Victoria. Although he died at Stirling, his death certificate notes he was buried at Bairnsdale Cemetery on the 9th August, 1892. It was thought he was buried in the Stirling Cemetery; still the burial information on death certificates has been known to be incorrect.
  • Lewis CORKILL, aged about 70 years, a miner born on the Isle of Man, was buried at Stirling Cemetery on the 19th December, 1899. There was an inquest held into his death on the 18th December, 1899 at Stirling

It is believed that there might still be some enclosures for this cemetery found in the area. If anyone has any further information on this cemetery, I could greatly appreciate hearing from them.

David Weatherill
Email: djweath@bigpond.net.au
Bundoora, Victoria, Australia

 

 

For further information on this Cemetery Contact

East Gippsland Family History Society

These pages were produced by P.Applebee©2007