Bethany Pioneer Cemetery

During our time in the Barossa, I wanted to visit one of the historic cemeteries. At the top of our list was the Bethany Pioneer Cemetery. Overall, it is quite a small cemetery. However, a large number of people are buried here. Later in the post, I’ll share a link to the burial registry. In 2002, the cemetery was confirmed as a State Heritage Place in the SA (South Australia) Heritage Register. This is going to be a short post because I want to share my photographs of the cemetery. You get a much better sense of this heritage place through the images than through writing and describing.

Heritage Register Entry

I will share why it was entered into the Heritage Register. According to the entry, the cemetery is a significant site relating to the settlement of Bethany, a town in the Barossa. It also serves as a demographic record, highlighting the German families who immigrated to the Barossa in the nineteenth century. For this reason, it meets criteria a and f.

A – it demonstrates an evolution or pattern in the State’s history

F – it has a strong cultural or spiritual association for the community.

My Experience

Walking around any cemetery is a humbling experience. They shed so much light on the past and often have insightful information printed on the gravestones. In this cemetery, almost every gravestone has a German phrase printed on the front and back. I spent a while translating each gravestone and taking photos of others to translate later.

These photographs show an overall panorama of the cemetery and a few individual gravestones. For example, there is a gravestone with two hands holding each other in a handshake. This was a very popular nineteenth century carving used to represent husbands and wives. It signifies that even in death the bond of marriage has not been severed.

The rest of the post will be images from my time in the cemetery. Thank you to the dedicated team who upkeep this cemetery. You can find the burial registry here:

View into the cemetery from the street
The handshake gravestone.
My rough German translation of this is: I live for you, I die for you, I am yours, in death and life.

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