Uncovering plots



A new pocket-sized booklet on Arrowtown doesn’t just have one plot, it has lots of them.

It’s a guide to 40 grave sites at the town’s cemetery entitled Arrowtown Cemetery: A Walk
Into History.

The text is by Pauline Law rence and Rita Teele, with drone photography by the latter’s son, Ben Teele, and other photos by Jo Boyd.

Produced by Queenstown’s Print Central, the book was initiated by Arrowtown’s Oweena Frew and was out in time for this week’s autumn festival.

Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum funded the publication and, in turn, proceeds are going
to its earthquake-strengthening project.

As the introduction states, ‘‘the stories of those buried reflect the struggles, the despair or the successes of a pioneering settlement after the momentous gold rush, 1862-3’’.

One chapter’s on Chinese miners’ hidden grave sites — after a 1940s fire destroyed wooden markers and headboards, only grass covers the area where they were buried.

The book’s divided into sections on the ‘old cemetery’, where gravestones are separated by religious affiliation, and the ‘new old’ cemetery.

The earliest inhabitants writ ten about are two Welsh miners who died in 1878, and the latest is the town’s last mayor, Jack Reid (2016), who’s buried with his wife, Margaret, who died in 2005.

The wide range includes brothers John and Peter Butel, who farmed what’s now Millbrook Resort, and Ellen Mackie Patton O’Fee Dennison, who was thrice married by 55, which explains her long name.

There’s Arrowtown’s oldest citizen, George Romans, who died in 1945 aged about 103.

And a host of deceased whose names live on in geographic features including Feehly, Tobin, Dudley, Jopp, Cotter and Kinross.

The book’s selling for $15 at Lakes District Museum, Arrowtown Post Office and Arrowtown
Lifestyle Retirement Village.