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The Lonely Graves

The Lonely Graves

The folktale version:

The story started when William Rigney found a young boy on the side of the road. He asked around town if anybody knew who the boy belonged to but knowbody knew. So William Rigney buried the young boy and on the headstone it said "somebody's darling lie's here''. Many years later William Rigney died in 1912 and was buried next to 'somebody's darling'. This story is well known and is very sad.

The real story:

In 1863 Central Otago was a living rural gold mining dream. Horseshoe Bend was the thriving gold mining town with over 200 residents. The story is not real but some of it is. William Rigney and 'Somebody's Darling' are. Actually William Rigney never found or buried 'somebody's darling' but was one of the community members of Horsebend that took a great deal if interest in the mystery of the unknown boy. WIlliam Rigney was also responsible for the grave marker 'Somebody's Darling' and in 1912 upon his death he was buried next to him. It was decided much later that the body belonged to Charles Ulms from Nevis Valley. On the headstone of William Rigney it say's 'Here lies William Rigney, the man who buried somebody's darling.'

The story has stuck - and the truth shouldn't get in the way of a good story.

The crime of the headstone:

In the late 1990's - early 2000 one of the headstones was stolen and there was another muddled up story in this one too but I will tell the truth. Somebody, an unknown source, took one of the headstones and apparently it turned up in Te Papa in Wellington but it actually turned up in a police station in Wellington. A detective thought it was beautiful so decided to investigate it more instead of throwing it in the trash. He found out the story and returned it to its home.

By Jordan and Deanna.

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