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Terrace End Cemetery, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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The Terrace End Cemetery contains the remains of those who died in the earliest years of European settlement of the 1870's through to 1927 when the Kelvin Grove Cemetery in James Line opened. After that date many were still buried in the Terrace End Cemetery, particularly in family plots that had already been purchased. The total number of recorded burials in the cemetery is around 9,500, but because records were destroyed by a fire in August 1885 and records were not always well kept before 1910 it is thought that probably the number of people whose remains lie in the cemetery would be nearer to 10,000.

The township of Palmerston North was laid out by surveyors in 1866 and by the beginning of 1871 the first Europeans had arrived to start establishing a settlement there. As the new way of life was carved out of the bush and swamp, death took its toll on the community. In 1871 the first public cemetery was established in Palmerston North on the site of the present Showgrounds in Cuba Street. By 1875, when it is thought that at least 12 people had been buried there, a decision was made to move the cemetery to Napier Road, because the Cuba Street site was too wet. All those buried at Cuba Street were disinterred and removed to the new site. However only the name of one is recorded Charles Adam Mackenzie, aged 31 years.

The cemetery was surveyed into denominational divisions with public reserves being set aside for the burial of stillborn babies and 'poor persons' whose estates or relatives were unable to pay for the purchase of a plot.

The first trustees for the cemetery were appointed on September 30, 1875. They were Mr George Snelson, Mr Henry Phillips, Mr John Dalrymple, Mr James Linton and Mr Jacob Nannestad.

The oldest headstone in the cemetery is that on the grave of Charles Adam MacKenzie (Block 1, plot 14) who died in June 1872, aged 31 years old, originally buried in Cuba Street. He was a surveyor working with his younger brother George Thomas Knight MacKenzie, assistant surveyor (1850-1924).

Reference: Terrace End Cemetery Walk Booklet, Heritage Trails, Palmerston North. The Friends of the Terrace End Cemetery, C/- Palmerston North City Council, PO Box 11034, Palmerston North.