The first cemetery in Wangaratta, now known as the Pioneer Cemetery, was originally located in Faithfull Street, close to the junction of the Ovens and King Rivers.
Only very few records and headstones of those buried at the Pioneer Cemetery still exist today.
In 1849, Dr Francis Murphy JP of Tarrawingee, in a letter to the Department of Crown Lands and Survey, requested the establishment of a new burial ground for the town.
The cemetery, now located on the corner of Tone Road and Mason Street was officially opened in 1851. No records were kept until 1862, eleven years after the cemetery was opened. It is assumed that there were many burials which took place during this time that have not been recorded.
The Borough of Wangaratta assumed responsibility as trustees for the cemetery in 1854. The Borough continued in this capacity until 1862 when on April 10, a public meeting was held to elect religious trustees to the cemetery. Each religious denomination was to have a representative.
As was the normal custom, all religious denominations and an allocated section in the cemetery along with the selection for 'strangers'. Signposts in the cemetery identify the respective denomination.
Official burial records at the Wangaratta Cemetery began in 1862. Those buried here prior to 1862 is mere speculation. Some of those thought to be buried here are really just the headstones that have been moved from the Pioneer Cemetery.