Follow the signs just a few km’s north of Geraldine and you will find the small settlement of Woodbury. Originally named Waihi Bush, the town was first established by Robert Taylor and Frederick Flatman in 1866 to service the saw milling and farming industries that were developing around the area. The village grew rapidly in its early years and was home to a large general store, two butcher’s shops, a shoemaker, a creamery, a blacksmith and a two-storeyed wooden hotel that would later blow down in a gale.
Waihi Bush was renamed Woodbury after the birthplace of Frederick Flatman’s wife, Elizabeth, in Devonshire, England. It is situated in a fertile farming valley which extends from Geraldine back to the foothills. Beautiful plantings of established trees in the area add to its picturesque appeal.
There are some lovely cemeteries dotted about the countryside and the Woodbury cemetery is one of them. It adjoins the local Domain where a short walk leads to a relatively new boulder fence and gates that have been placed to mark the original entrance. It is well signposted and can also be accessed from the main road.
The cemetery is not attached to any church. It is forest lined, surrounded by large and beautiful collection of evergreen cypress and cedar type trees, a tranquil and calm place to visit with several memorial seats dotted about and sheltered beside the trees.
The first burial here was for John Nicholas E. Pearce in November 1889 and the cemetery is still being used today. There are many aged and charming headstones and memorials to ponder on in this well maintained place. I realise not everyone enjoys wandering around country cemeteries but those of you that do would find this one beautiful, a private and peaceful location and the record of local history here fascinating.
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