Chinaman’s Bend Cemetery

Chinaman’s Bend Cemetery is today fenced and its presence marked with a sign

Location Mitchell Highway, approximately 4 km South East of the Orange CBD forms a place with the Precinct of Frederick’s Valley.

Statement of Significance

Chinaman’s Bend Cemetery is listed on the Register of the National Estate as both an historic and geological site of significance. The Cemetery is a Schedule 8 Heritage Item of State Significance in the Orange Local Environment Plan 2000.

The Register of the National Estate nominates Chinaman’s Bend Cemetery as historically important as the site one of the major physical remnants of early settlement in Frederick’s Valley. Chinaman’s Bend Cemetery is all that remains of the first real attempt at European settlement in the Orange region when, in the mid-1820s, a stock and convict station was established at the nearby Dairy Creek. The station closed in the 1830s and no buildings remain. The earliest remaining marked grave dates from 1841, a time when the early properties were being established in the surrounding area.

Chinaman’s Bend is thought to have received its current name in the late nineteenth century, after the Chinese market gardens that were operated at the site. The land was leased to Ah Gee by Andrew Kerr in 1884, and later leased to Ah Fook in 1890 both of whom operated Chinese Market Gardens at the site.

Objects and Elements: Chinaman’s Bend Cemetery

Chinaman’s Bend Cemetery

Chinamans Bend Cemeter1The cemetery comprises a scattering of stone headstones, with the earliest dating to 1841. The graves look out over Summer Hill Creek and toward the rolling hills on the opposite side of the valley. The cemetery is now fenced and a rest area has been established between the cemetery and the Mitchell Highway.

Chinamans Bend Cemeter2Headstones

Engraved sandstone headstones in varying conditions mark the graves of some of the district’s earliest European settlers. The gravestones also provide some documentation of the identity of the early settlers prior to the Civil Registration Act of 1856.

Geological Site, Mitchell Highway, Southern cutting

Chinamans Bend Cemeter4The Register of the National Estate describes the site as significant for a rare exposure of faulting associated with emplacement of serpentine, which is the subject of much research and international interest.

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