A Project of Capricorn Coast Historical Society & Livingstone Shire Council
The Historical Marker's location is located at the entrance of the Yeppoon Cemetery.
The four hectare Yeppoon Cemetery Reserve was first proclaimed in 1888 with the regulations for the cemetery being gazetted the following year.
The Early Years
The four hectare Yeppoon Cemetery Reserve was first proclaimed in 1888 with the regulations for the cemetery being gazetted the following year. These included the list of fees that applied to burials and the installation of headstones and vaults. The initial trustees of the cemetery were A T Wood and T H S Perkins representing the “English Church”, H Fulton representing the Presbyterian Church, J F Barry representing the Catholic Church and J W Power representing the Methodist Church.
Importance to the Community
Many pioneers are buried here, the earliest graves being located at the lower end of the grounds and on the side furthest from the street. The first recorded burial in the cemetery, in September 1888, was that of 37 year old Yeppoon carpenter, Herbert Busby Lucas. He drowned when the boat he was in overturned while on a crabbing trip with two other men at Corio Creek north of Yeppoon. Lucas was the brother of well-known Rockhampton businessman, Ernest Seymour Lucas. The first infant burial was Arthur Fester aged 8 months, who died on 18 October 1888, and the first female burial was also an infant, Sarah Howten aged 5 months, who died on 6 November 1889.
The cemetery was originally laid out in sections according to religion following the old practice of parish church burials. Churchyard burials ceased in the late 18th century for health reasons and because of overcrowding of parish grounds. They were replaced by town cemeteries. The practice of sectionalising public cemetery burials was carried on for about 150 years.
The Later Years
The East Wall of the Columbarium was completed in 1993 and the first interment was William James Harris in October 1993. The West Wall was opened in 2000. Edward Anthony Novak was the first burial in Yeppoon’s Lawn Cemetery which was opened in 1997.
A Board of Trustees administered the cemetery until April 1948 when a government
order-in-council appointed the Livingstone Shire Council as trustee.
1. Headstone for Jessie Atherton (1884) of the pioneering Atherton family. This is only a headstone, the burial was on 'Mount Hedlow' Property before Yeppoon Cemetery was in use. When the property was sold, this headstone was relocated to the Yeppoon Cemetery. (CCHS Collection)
3. Headstone for Herbert Busby Lucas 1888. The text is almost unreadable. (CCHS Collection)
4. Grave of Myrtle Kelly (1915) (CCHS Collection)
5. Graves of the Presentation Nuns. (CCHS Collection)
2. Page 1 of the Register of Burials (CCHS Collection)