Granite Flat Cemetery
Granite Flat, also known as Snowy Creek, is located off the Omeo Highway seven miles out of Mitta Mitta. All that is left of the town is an old Catholic church built in 1878 and the cemetery. The church was renovated in the early 1980s by the State Rivers and Water Commission as a tourist attraction.
Granite Flat started as a gold mining village from the late 1850s and by the 1890s it was no longer in use. At its peak the population was about 500 people that fell very quickly to about 100 people. Gold was mined via alluvial work and the largest gold mine in the town was the Mammoth Mine that started operations in 1885.
In January, 1873 the Granite Flat (Snowy Creek) School No 1186, opened with an enrolment of 28 pupils. The school started in a rented building and 1877 a wooden building was built to be used as the school including 3 rooms for the teacher. The school closed in 1893 but was reopened in 1936 on a part time basis with State School Callaghans Creek. It was finally closed on 31 December, 1940. In the 1939 bushfires just about all of the buildings in the town were destroyed. During the time of operations of the school the enrolment rose to 40 pupils.
The Granite Flat Cemetery is located adjacent to the old Catholic Church just off the Omeo Highway and from information obtained about the cemetery the first burial was in April, 1863. The land, of five acres, for the cemetery was reserved in 1872 (VGG 1872/1660) as a crown reserve. Over the years there have been Trustees appointed to be responsible for the cemetery. There were burials in the cemetery up to 1954. There is currently a Cemetery Trust responsible for the cemetery.
In the cemetery files held by the GSV is some small data on the cemetery. In 1980 the headstones in the cemetery were transcribed by Mrs A. Summerill with the dates ranging from 22 April, 1863 to 5 April, 1954. Mrs Summerill noted that there were seven headstones in the cemetery with data on them as follows.
Three headstones for Carmody-
One headstone for Murphy- Johanna (died January, 1938) and James Murphy
The first recorded burial in the cemetery was Thomas Parker, native of Galway, Ireland, who died, aged 33 years, on 22 April, 1863.
The last recorded burial was for James Murphy, aged 89 years, who died on 5 April, 1954.
The Dept of Human Services Cemetery file noted in July, 1983 that no burials had taken place in the cemetery for many years with the last burial being for the previous secretary of the Granite Flat Cemetery Trust. If anyone has any further information on this old cemetery I would greatly appreciate hearing from them.David Weatherill Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bundoora, Victoria, Australia