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When Rigney died in , on his request he was buried next to the grave. The Lonely Graves Historic Reserve contains the two graves, each is marked by a white marble headstone.

Two Lonely Graves – grave tales

The graves are enclosed within a painted concrete and iron rail fence. The marble headstone and enclosure around Charles Alms grave dates from It replaced an original nineteenth century timber slab or grave marker that was formed from black pine painted white, and erected at the grave by William Rigney. The Game.

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Our Partners Starts at Impulse Screen. Lonely Graves. The Lonely Graves at Horseshoe Bend are a poignant reminder of the tragedies that went hand in hand with the achievements of Central Otago pioneers. This touching story has become firmly entrenched in local lore.

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Horseshoe Bend goldfield was home to about miners and shopkeepers in By the population had dropped to Legend has it that near the end of William Rigney, an Irish miner at Horseshoe bend gold diggings, came across the body of a young, good-looking man. The police were called and permission was given for the unknown man to be buried.

A funeral was held and attended by everyone from the diggings. It seems there is no record of the burial, but there was an inquest, which identified the dead man as probably Charles Alms, a butcher who drowned while herding cattle across the river.

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Apparently, the story was first published in the Tuapeka Times in and William Rigney responded by writing to the editor and confirming his limited involvement. Whatever truly happened we may never know, but the Lonely Graves remain stirring monuments to the spirit and humanity of Central Otago gold miners. Otago Central Rail Trail.