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Almshouse Cemetery

Transcribed by Thomas Keegan
February, 2007


Photograph Copyright © 2004-2015 by Dale H. Cook
A high-resolution version of this photo (322k) is available.


This approximately 50 foot square burial ground has 4 concrete posts marking its corners. There is one stone (not a headstone, it's more like a small boulder) in the front center on the east side of the burial ground with a mounted plaque facing east, containing the following memorial message:

SCHOOL STREET CEMETERY

IN THIS CEMETERY ARE 38 BODIES OF
INMATES OF THE POOR-FARM WHICH WAS
OPERATED BY THE TOWN OF EASTON IN
THE EARLY PART OF THE 19TH CENTURY
FOR INDIGENT PERSONS.

THEIR NAMES ARE ONLY KNOWN TO GOD.

It is worth noting that headstones do not appear to ever have been present in this burial ground, based on today's appearance and based on Chaffin's report in his History about the Almshouse burying-ground. He indicates that all graves are unmarked, and he offers these comments, "Would it not be well for the town to provide inexpensive but substantial headstones, upon which the names and dates of birth and death might be inscribed?" The above memorial has apparently since been erected to offer at least some recognition to those that were buried here.

It is clear that Chaffin deeply cared for preserving the memory of all that have since passed from this life in Easton and it is that objective that motivates this writer too. It seems fitting, to this end, in the memory of those that were buried here at the Almshouse, to re-count the first-hand story shared by Chaffin about one particular memorable event that involved an individual that is buried here:

"One of these graves-that of old Mrs. Rebecca Allen, who died in 1881, aged eighty-deserves this consideration. The writer once observed a funeral procession approach the Central Cemetery, and this poor demented lady, seeing a fallen branch of a tree obstructing its entrance, thoughtfully removed it, and then stood at the gate, like the figure of Old Mortality, bowed in respectful and reverent courtesy, while the procession passed in. It was an act as good in its way, and as gracefully done, as that of Sir Walter Raleigh when he spread his cloak in the mud for the Queen to walk upon."

Mrs. Allen is remembered today because of the selfless grace she demonstrated on that day and also because of the kindness and caring of W. L. Chaffin in recounting his observation in his writings. This is a fitting tribute to all those buried in the Almshouse.





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USGenWeb Easton, MA, commenced 23-Mar-2004.
Created and maintained by Dale H. Cook.
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Transcriptions copyright © 2007-2015 by Thomas Keegan.
Copyright © 2007-2015 by Dale H. Cook. All rights reserved.