During our holiday to Portland in January, we visited the North Portland Cemetery also known as the Old Portland Cemetery. Thanks to a handy brochure I picked up at the Tourist Information Centre (also available online) it was something we could do as a family.
The guide outlines some of the more notable graves in the cemetery. Each of those graves have a number marker. There are also arrows pointing to the next grave of interest. This made visiting the cemetery fun and educational for the small research assistant. Finding each of the numbered graves and reading the corresponding information in the brochure kept his interest on our circumnavigation of the cemetery.
The number one grave is the Robb family memorial. William was a local stonemason.
Despite fires in the past, the wooden fence around the Rankin grave still stands, the last of its kind in the cemetery. The grave belongs to Agnes, Margaret and Charles Rankin
Agnes died from blood poisoning in 1875.
Several members of the Haggestton family lie in the Haggestton plot. Frederick, Sara, Joseph and John Haggestton, the children of Joseph and Mary Haggestton and Joseph and Mary themselves are all buried here. At the time of Joseph senior’s death in 1907, he owned several properties around Portland. Nineteen properties, including The Royal Hotel, were auctioned on February 20, 1908. The Haggestton headstone was vandalised, along with others, in 1986. It was restored by Parker & Sons, a Portland stonemason.
The graves face out over Portland Bay where many of those buried first entered Victoria.
This unusual headstone dates back to 1841, before the cemetery opened. It belongs to six-year-old Henrietta Earls. Her mother Harriet was also buried in the plot in 1854.