The original burial vaults in Yarborough in 1908 before the 1931 and 1961 hurricanes took their toll of damages
Now Sanker's Playground
The vaults, which involved burial (graves) above-ground were erected in 1881 and opened in 1882 in the area known as Queen Charlotte Town (once called Coolie Town or Calcutta as the area was the home of Belize City’s East Indian population until the destruction of the 1931 hurricane.) Apart from being unpopular in the settlement, the Vaults became full in 1886 i.e. within 4 years. A new burial site constructed in 1885 and name Lord's Ridge Cemetery was opened on a pine ridge on the western edge of Belize City - we all know that one. The Vaults remained in location and was almost totally destroyed in the 1931 Hurricane. Hattie in 1961 wiped out what was left of it. I understand it is now a play-ground. The name Yarborough came from a Mr. James Yarborough, an American magistrate from South Carolina - living in Belize way back in 1787, who donated the land to be used as a burial ground. How he came to own the land is not known to me.
They were constructed because the ground was too low for burial. Even so they continued to sink. The graves for the cholera and yellow fever epidemics were further back in the mangrove along Fabers Road.
Yarborough, Yaborough, Yabra, is where I spent part of my summer vacation in the 60's very early 70's with my maternal grandfather "Alfred Dougal and family". It's sentiment, to me as I have seen the area enlarged by land fill. I recall when the main street off the seashore was THE main street, anything westward was barely accessible and swampy. It's was an experience, the smell of garbage always it seems. Coming from Corozal being raised in the plush greenery, Grandpa Alfred had to explain that, that is how the city is making the area more habitual or enlargened, by fill the area with garbage, including the sea.
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