The First Boulder Cemetery was established in September 1899 and operated until it was officially declared closed on the 30th of May 1904.
This 33-acre cemetery was laid out on a grid pattern with wide roads running North-South and East-West, intersecting at the centre of the reserve. Provision was made for 48 blocks, each of 224 gravesites. In the five years, the Cemetery was used, eleven of the blocks were used for burials.
The sections first laid out and used in 1899, were the four major denominations then in Boulder: Church of England, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist. Baptist and Disciples of Christ sections were created in 1902.
The first burial in the Cemetery was the Church of England section on September 9, 1899, when Rev Collick officiated the funeral of Joseph Pankhurst. The first Methodist was on October 4, 1899, and five days later a burial took place in the Roman Catholic section. The Presbyterian section was first used on December 19, 1899. Over the next 4 and a half years, just on 800 burials took place in the cemetery, i.e. an average of one burial every second day.
The excessive cost of grave-digging in the ironstone sections, coupled with totally inadequate road access, led to a new cemetery being established closer to Boulder. The last burial here at ‘Old Boulder’ was on May 30, 1904, when this cemetery was officially declared ‘Closed’.
There were just over 797 burials in this Cemetery.
There is evidence of just 62 graves ever having any monumental work. This is barely 8% of the burials, indicating the economic circumstances of early Boulder families.
The City of Kalgoorlie Boulder became responsible for this Cemetery when the Shire of Boulder and the Town of Kalgoorlie amalgamated in 1989.
Before heading out to the Old Boulder Cemetery, contact the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Cemetery Board located on Memorial Drive, Kalgoorlie, so they can provide more information to complement your visit.
The turn off to the Old Boulder Cemetery is just passed the Boulder Cemetery; left off Goldfields Highway, South Boulder.