Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Scotty's Grave

Scotty's Grave

If you are a taphophile or into geocaching, then chances are you’ve probably already come across “Scotty’s Grave” just north of the Wheatsheaf Hotel at Allendale (near Kapunda).
This unusual little grave, set back in a farmer’s field, with its own access gate cut into the boundary fence, has been a talking point in the local community since 1865 when the first headstone was installed.
 There is many a legend about “Scotty”, who he was, and how he came to be buried in the field, some of the stories, no doubt, have been exaggerated in retelling's in the local watering hole down the road over the past hundred and sixty-five plus years.

One legend tells of Scotty being in his native Scotland and falling madly in love with a girl, but being forced to immigrate to Australia. He arrived in the Kapunda region, and could be heard often in the Wheatsheaf Hotel, singing about his lost love.
 One day, the publican entered the bar after being away for some time. He entered with a new wife, who turned out to be Scotty’s long lost love from back in Scotland.
Scotty and his love hatched a plan to run away together, and met at the back of the hotel where he had hitched two horses. They rode away together in to the night, but Scotty’s horse threw him off, and he died on impact.
 His long lost love rode back to the hotel, with her new husband, none the wiser, and the following day, when Scotty was discovered, she took it upon herself to oversee his burial.

Gate added in 1970
 The truth about “Scotty’s Grave” though is this. “Scotty” is actually a man named James Burnett who was a local Shepard in the Allendale area.
 While trying to cross the River Light at Baker’s Flat, on the 2nd of August 1846, he slipped from his horse and drowned.
 The reason he was buried where he is, was stated in The Advertiser in 1903 as being “where Scotty’s hut was located when he was alive”.
His headstone was erected in 1863 via subscription from locals, advertised in the Kapunda Herald. W Flavel, thoughtfully, copied the inscription on the headstone in 1865 for prosperity’s sake.
 An ornate fence was erected in 1885, cast in Kapunda at Mellors, and over the years there have been numerous restorations and upkeep projects of the grave.
  Believe it or not, there are actually two graves at Scotty’s Grave Road, lying next to Scotty is a man by the name Carrol, who died two years earlier in 1844 – not much, if anything is really known about this particular gentleman.

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