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Photographs supplied by Judy Bracken

Grave of Eliza Amey who drowned in 1886. Eliza's burial has now been located by ground penetrating radar, the grave has been enclosed by a low railing and a headstone with bronze plaque has been installed. A plaque explains the significance of scars on a large gum tree on the roadside, the surrounds of which were cleared and fenced. The Coffin Tree plaque is located nearby. 

A story goes that in 1930 Mr George Blackie Snr was fencing on the farm which was then owned by Mr Alf Rowley. Down the hill from his hut came Bill (William) Amey, elder brother of Eliza and the sibling closest to her in age, and by that time an elderly man. He said to George, "You be very careful where you're digging, that is about where my little sister is buried."
George went and saw the boss who relocated the fence. The late Mr Harry Roberts a local identity said the grave was 77m from the corner of the Maffra-Newry Road and 5m in from the edge of Lower Newry Road. When the Bellbird Corner Committee decided to mark the grave, underground imaging equipment was obtained through Wellington Shire Council. The grave was located precisely where Harry had said, 4 feet below the surface, the bark coffin visible on the imaging, and the same dimensions as the scar on the Coffin Tree. The Committee placed a marking headstone, found at Valencia Creek, and erected a fence around the grave. The West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority obtained a large rock, which stands with a plaque in the road reserve adjacent to the grave. In 2007 the refurbished grave was unveiled in an event attended by many descendants of the Amey family.

Two-year-old Eliza Amey was drowned on the Newry Road farm in 1866.

She apparently fell into a water filled depression or waterhole between the house and the cow shed, where her mother had been milking. Despite all efforts to revive her using warm baths and wrapping in warm blankets, she failed to respond and she was pronounced dead. Her coffin was made from bark taken from a tree, which still stands on the edge of the property. The scar is clearly visible.



Address:Lower Newry Road, Maffra, 3860
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.928829
Long: 146.953788
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1866
Approx. Event End Date:1866
Monument Designer:Bellbird Corner Reserve Management Committee


Inscription in Proximity

Coffin Tree

The scars on this tree are due to the removal of slabs of bark used to make a coffin for Eliza Amey, aged two years, who drowned in 1866.  She is buried near the corner of Lower Newry Road.

Bellbird Corner Riverside Reserve Management Committee

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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