Chinese Cemetery MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown
The memorial commemorates European and Chinese pioneers who are buried in the cemetery. The fencing was erected in 1928 by the Bendigo Chinese Society in honour of their countrymen who are buried at the site. The burials in the cemetery are predominantly Chinese but there were some European Burials. 

The cemetery's origins lie in the great Mount Alexander alluvial goldrush of 1852-54. The cemetery is situated on a small rocky hill overlooking the junction of the Loddon River and Fryers Creek, one of the richest spots on the goldfield. Gold seekers chose a convenient patch of ground where gold was unlikely to be found. The cemetery remained in use until 1857. With the arrival of large numbers of Chinese gold seekers from 1854, burials in the cemetery appear to have had been predominantly from this population. This was a reflection of the field's changing nature: European miners preferring to follow the rush to new goldfields, while the Chinese were willing to put long hours into winning gold from worked-out and badly disturbed ground.

Castlemaine, Wednesday. — Included in the mineral springs reserve at Vaughan, which in early fifties was a thriving township with a large population, many of whom were Chinese, is a small area of land known as the Chinese cemetery. The records of the Lands department reveal that there is no formal reservation of the site, but a survey made about the year 1851 indicates the area at that time as a "burial ground." Formerly the land was fenced, but now only a few posts and headstones, more or less damaged by age and vandalism, remain to mark the spot, There is evidence of the burial there in 1875 of one European woman. The inscription on the tombstone gives the age, name and date. The other headstones of slate and sandstone indicate the burial of Chinese, and are inscribed in Chinese characters. It is the opinion of the Vaughan Springs improvement committee that the site should be preserved. The committee communicated with the Bendigo Chinese Society, and the facts were brought under its notice. As a result a delegation from the society visited Vaughan. The delegation was particularly interested in the Chinese inscriptions, which they explained indicated the name of the deceased, the province in China where he or she was born, and the year of the then Emperor's reign. It has been agreed that the site should be restored and preserved, and the matter will be considered by the Bendigo Chinese Society. The members of the society will consider the question of a memorial tablet, with suitable inscription in English and Chinese. The Vaughan springs committee has undertaken to tidy up the ground and plant trees. The committee will endeavor to give effect to the wishes of the society for the preservation of the area. If this can be accomplished a site sacred, interesting and historical will be preserved.
Age (Melbourne), 26 July 1928.


Address:29 Greville Street, Chinese Cemetery, Vaughan Springs, Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, Vaughan, 3451
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.158668
Long: 144.212099
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1928
Front Inscription

This Site Was Used As A Burial Ground
From 1855 (About) To 1859.
European And Chinese Pioneers
           Rest Here.
The Bendigo Chinese Society Honouring
The Memory Of Their Countrymen,
Fenced The site, 1928.
Population Of Vaughan 1859, 13000

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design