On A Clear Day :: Isaac Povey
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Isaac Povey

Jul 12, 2015 
Povey Marker

After many weeks of research and at least four unsuccessful ventures into the field over two months, the grave of Isaac Povey is finally found!

Isaac Povey arrived in Australia with his friend Edward Hill in 1854. They both came from West Bromwich, Staffordshire in England. Povey and Hill first went to Sydney where they worked building the Sydney Mint, they were bricklayers by trade.

Later they arrived in Melbourne and made their way to the Mount Blackwood ranges. Sadly, within a year Isaac Povey caught a chill and died at the age of 24, on the 10th of July 1855.

As there was no cemetery at that time in Blackwood, Edward Hill buried his friend Isaac on his claim, in a coffin made of sheets of bark, on the summit of what is known by locals as Deadman's Hill at Simmons Reef. He marked the grave with stones and a wooden tablet.

Povey Grave

Many years later, around 1926, a bush fire swept through the area, and the original wooden marker was destroyed. Mr. Tom Johnston, the proprietor of a foundry in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, having heard of the fire, visited Blackwood and after talks with the local people Mr. Johnston proposed to have a bronze headstone cast in his foundry. His offer was accepted and the locals transported it to Deadman's Hill and erected the headstone on the grave where it still stands today. It is a Heritage Listed Location.

Local legend has it that Edward Hill found gold while digging his friend's grave initiating the gold rush in the Blackwood area.

A sad part of the story is that Povey left his sweetheart Mary, back in England, intending to send for her when he made his fortune in Australia. Edward Hill had no way of notifying her of Povey's death so who knows how long Mary waited for Isaac's letter?

Joe and Scott

A big thanks to a genuine explorer and new friend Scott who lead us on a trip via a little used track directly to the site. Something the current locals said was not even possible!

Source: Aspects of Early Blackwood
Author: Margot Hitchcock
Publisher: BlackwoodPublishing.com