Lonely graves at Tooloom

The township of Tooloom began in 1859 with the discovery of gold. There were soon 5000 diggers trying their luck and within three months of the first discovery, three hotels were in business and three more planned. By 1860 things had settled down somewhat although there were still diggers finding enough to make staying worthwhile. In the early 1870s the population justified holding a two day race meeting and Tooloom was included in a mail run from 1874.

In 1877 a rush to nearby Paddy’s Flat started and the population was said to be 120 Europeans and 36 Chinese. Around 1891 a new (but less spectacular than the original) rush started at Tooloom and mining continued in some form up until 1914. (Wilkinson, 1980)

Today the Tooloom township doesn’t exist.  The large stock stations (Tabulam, Tooloom, Kangaroo Flat, New Koreelah and Bonalbo) have been subdivided long ago and what remains of the gold days is now on private property.

The old Tooloom cemetery lies a bit further on over the eastern side of Tooloom Creek from Billy May’s Point (a popular picnic and swimming spot in days gone by). Six headstones remain and commemmorate: IMG_5599

George Frederick Everson
who departed this life
April 1896 Aged 3 years and four months

John Martin who died
February 16 – 1890
Aged 60 years

Henry Brown
who died
March 18 – 1872
Aged 28 years

Catherine
Beloved wife Donald McLean
Departed this life
November 6th 1873
Aged 58 yearsIMG_5597

John Slade
Died October 2 – 1903
Aged 27 years and 2 months

Finlay Iverson
who died
April 23, 1892
Aged 1 year and 7 months

There are many unmarked graves.  Some that I know of:

Roderick Cameron (Died 1890 aged 61. Nephew of Donald McLean mentioned above and below)

Donald McLean (Died 1902 aged 89)Donald McLean 001

Maude Ellen Payne (Died 1895 aged 2 months and 3 weeks. Twin of May below)

May Payne (Died 1925 aged 30. Twin of Maude above)

May Payne

May Payne (1895-1925)

Ellen Waldron (Nee Allen, formerly Mulcahy. Died 1872 aged 45)

I do not have proof but the following are listed on the Find a Grave website as “resident” in Tooloom Cemetery.  I have removed a few from the list who I know are not actually there.

William Graham (1810 – 1860)

Ah Hung (unknown – 1874)

James P Kerry (1831 – 1908)

Elizabeth King Lee (1859 – 1935)

Samuel Lee (1831 – 1914)

Mary A Lehy (unknown – 1857)

Robert Lehy (unknown – 1858)

Thomas Lewis (1850 – 14 Jul 1923)

John Richardson Martin (1831 – 16 Feb 1890)

John T Martin (unknown – 1913)

James Mather (1836 – 1863)

William (Billy) May (1815 – 30 Jun 1907)

John McLean (1836 – 7 May 1891)

Alexander Mills (1835 – 1880)

Bertram Viller Payne (28 Aug 1899 – 10 May 1913)

Percival Edward Payne (25 Jun 1913 – 3 Oct 1913)

Violet Agnes Payne (13 Jan 1907 – 29 Apr 1913)

William Payne (6 May 1894 – 14 May 1913)

Keith Jardine Ralston (1899 – 31 Dec 1901)

Henry Ross Scott (1860 – 10 May 1863)

Jessie Hall Scott (1861 – 6 May 1863)

Shee Quin (1849 – 8 Apr 1915)

John Slade (20 Jul 1876 – 2 Oct 1903)

Thomas Slade (9 Dec 1877 – 14 Mar 1884)

Unnamed Stubbings (18 Jul 1907 – 23 Jul 1907. Son of George Stubbings and Ellen nee Mulcahy)

Ellen Waddingham Urben (Unknown – 19 Jan 1909)

Fanny Urben (1857 – 12 Jan 1858)

William Urben (1824 – 28 Dec 1879)

William Waldron (1833 – 1876)

 

Big John Payne is buried in the Tooloom area on a property named Flagstone which once belonged to the Payne family.  He requested that he be  buried there and the gravediggers had to blast into the rock to make a big enough hole to put him in.  According to some sources, there is a second grave next to his although it is not visible in this 1997 photo.  If there is a second grave, it is neither of John’s wives’.  His first wife, Mary Ann Sophia (nee Merrick) is buried in Narrabri and his seond wife, Mary Eliza (nee McFarlane) is buried in Tenterfield.

References:

Wilkinson, Isabel (1980). Forgotten Country.  The Story of the Upper Clarence Gold Fields. Northern Star Print. Lismore.

Find a Grave. findagrave.com