Jollies Hotel Burial Site

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Jollies Hotel Burial Site

This is located on SH6, the Athol to Five Rivers Highway, between Invercargill and Queenstown, just south of Athol on the

I am originally from a place called Garston ( my ggrandfather started the first Hotel there ) above Athol . I was up @ Garston for mothers day

& as I was passing the Cairn , I thought its about time I stopped & had another look @ it .

The only thing is, its a bit dangerous to stop if there is traffic around , it is on the main road to


,also it is a straight bit of road there , & the cars tend to go very fast .

Many years ago I stopped & had a look & there was a book there , but I think the last time I stopped

the book was gone & the wooden drawer it was in wasn't looking the best .

I now refer to my book of History of Northern Southland by GA Hamilton & he tells of the people

3 men & 1 woman died there , the woman was Margaret Smith & she was drowned when a coach was upset

in Fryers Creek in 1866 . Miss Smith was one of a party of twelve woman who came to NZ as domestics

from Aberdeen .

One of the men buried there was James Cannon who died through eating tutu berries which he had declared

were non-poisonous .

The second man was a cook employed at the Glenquoich station during the shearing season . He was found dead in

bed at the Jollies presumably as a result of injuries received in a fight with a shearer .

The third man was a miner found dead in his hut at the Nokomai diggings .

At the time all the names were known but with the passing of time names have been lost .


27 October 1934

A roadside cairn of concrete and local stone has been erected near the graves, the cost being borne by local residents assisted by a grant of £5 from the Southland County Council and another of the same amount from the local branch of the Farmers Union. The cairn bears a marble slab inscribed as follows:- "In memory of our unknown pioneers buried here, Jolly Waggoners Hotel. Somebody's loved ones. Erected by local residents, 1st October, 1934."

Under the tablet is a niche with a drawer in which is to be placed a book containing much of the history of the early settlers of the district as is available, and a visitor's book.

It is proposed to surround the graves with a border of large stones which will be painted white, and the committee are of the opinion that this is all that necessary, as no gain would result from the expense of fencing or conveying the area to the Council. It seems to me also that this arrangement should be satisfactory to everyone concerned. "

None of the names come up on a Google, but with help from the Southland Council it appears to be located on SH6, the Athol Five Rivers highway, at Jollies Hill Pass just south of Parawa. Eyre Green appears to have vanished, but there is an Eyre Creek and an Eyre Creek Siding Road nearby.


Claire Sinclair Paterson

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