Replica of Bouffier Cross erected at Pokolbin

LOCAL HISTORY: Greg Drayton with the replica of the Bouffier Cross, which stands in a paddock on Debeyers Road, Pokolbin, where Henry Joseph Bouffier died in 1882.

LOCAL HISTORY: Greg Drayton with the replica of the Bouffier Cross, which stands in a paddock on Debeyers Road, Pokolbin, where Henry Joseph Bouffier died in 1882.

A replica cross honouring a pioneer of the Hunter Valley wine industry has been erected on Debeyers Road, Pokolbin.

The original cross was erected by the Bouffier family on the spot where Henry Joseph Bouffier died after he fell from his horse in 1882.

Born in Germany, Mr Bouffier had arrived in Australia in 1849, along with other skilled German vineyard workers, to help develop the wine growing industry in NSW.

In 1866 the Bouffier family established the first vineyard in the Cessnock region – on the northern side of Wollombi Road, stretching from Mount View Road to Alexander Street. They also erected the first brandy still in the district.

The idea of restoring the cross was conceived by a few Pokolbin residents, including two legends of the wine industry, Jay Tulloch and Max Drayton.

Greg Drayton – a fifth-generation descendant of Joseph Drayton – organised the project, liaising with landowner Ross Crump to have the replica placed on the site of the original cross and arranging for Cessnock Men’s Shed members to build the new cross.

Henry Joseph Bouffier is buried in Cessnock Cemetery. He was 67 years old.

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