Charles Vaughan was a 20-year-old timber cutter when he was killed by falling timber at Cedar Creek on May 18, 1900. At the time, the population of Nambucca Heads was less than three hundred and his community of “mates and friends” banded together to pay for the headstone.
Last year, during walks around the Nambucca cemetery, history enthusiast Rachel Burns noticed the lamentable state of the fallen headstone, which is likely the oldest headstone in the cemetery and she formed a plan for the restoration. An inquiry at council uncovered grant funding to do the job through Nambucca Shire Council Local Heritage Funding.
“The restoration was a lengthy process taken with great care by Laverty’s Funerals and the headstone, which previously lay on the ground, is now one of the most outstanding headstones in the cemetery,” Rachel said.
Mayor Rhonda Hoban was proud to be photographed with the headstone as she believed that, “Charles Vaughan is one of the many unsung heroes of the valley, being those who worked hard without the large rewards or recognition of our more honoured pioneers.
“It almost stands as a monument not just to Charles Vaughan but all those pioneers who were not the landed gentry or the upper crust landowners.
“The headstone itself is not overly ornate, but when you read the inscription there is something very touching about it,” Mayor Hoban said.
The headstone is at the Nambucca Cemetery, 67 Charlton Street, Nambucca Heads.
Facts about Charles Vaughan were taken from the records of the Nambucca Headland Museum.