Cemetery Curiosities

July 2017, Ballina, NSW

If I’m not dragging poor Woody around cemeteries looking for long lost ancestors we’re looking at intriguing graves or reading headstones to get an understanding of the history of an area. One could say that this cemetery in East Ballina has a view to die for.

East Ballina Cemetery, beautifully situated.
On a serious note, if anyone can explain this unusual grave I’d be most appreciative.

8 thoughts on “Cemetery Curiosities

  1. Really kind of an ugly edifice…
    We lived in England for two years. Week-ends often included a trip to a cemetery as I tracked down my ancestors!


  2. Hi, that grave was a mausoleum I believe. The concrete part in front covered the old steps, which went down to the door below. Those steps were still visible but covered up some time in the 40s or 50s according to my father. The rumour my father had about the steps was that the wife died early and was entombed there, and the husband used to go and visit the grave until he died and was also placed inside. It was then concreted over and the old chimney (shown on the right) was blocked as well. Unfortunately the historical records don’t back it up, looks like James died first and Christina just after. My guess is that it may have been planned as a family crypt but only ended up being used for the parents. Source: we owned the house directly in front of the cemetery and my grandmother lived there until she was 90, in about 2003. My father grew up playing in the cemetery in the 40s and 50s. That would’ve been 15-20 years after they were buried though!

    The Ainsworth family was also a pioneer family in early Ballina. There are graves of theirs in the old pioneer cemetery down near the missingham bridge, and of course the lake in Lennox is named after them. Article here about the family which mentions James and Christina



    1. Dom, thanks so much for the insight into a piece of Ballina’s history. It certainly is an unusual structure, but mausoleum makes sense. Your family home is in a lovely spot as the view from the cemetery is superb. Like your father I too grew up in the 50’s playing in our local cemetery surrounded by long departed ancestors.


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