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Old Bay Road Cemetery
Transcribed by Thomas Keegan
Photograph Copyright © 2004-2015 by Dale H. Cook
A high-resolution version of this photo (270k) is available.
This burial ground is approximately 200-250 feet wide (north-south) and 75-100 feet deep (east-west) and is located on the east side of Bay Road. Guarding the front border of the burial ground are 10 stone posts with evidence of chains that once linked the posts together. A larger space between the middle two posts undoubtedly was an entryway into the burial ground.
In the center of the burial ground, about a third of the way back, a tall flag pole flying the American Flag is located there with a stone in front of it. The stone is flanked by two smaller American Flags in the ground and it has a plaque mounted on its west face, with the following memorial message:
The Bay Road Cemetery
In this hallowed ground lie 150 bodies
of veterans of various wars, French
& Indian, Revolution, War of 1812,
Civil and Mexican wars. Exactly
where the bodies are buried is
Town records indicate burial in
Most of this burial ground is bare, but near the back and in roughly the center of the burial ground, in a line from left to right (N-S), there are six stones and 10 American veteran's flags in the ground. Some of the flags accompany the headstones, some of the flags stand without headstones.
From left to right in this line, the stones with the inscriptions facing towards the west are as follows:
The first stone is a rough, but fairly flat stone and the only apparent engraving seems to be hand-carved and is as follows:
Note that this is probably the "1789, A.r.S" stone that William Chaffin refers to in the History of Easton.
The engraving on the second stone is not mentioned by Chaffin and is below:
The third stone, apparently an engraving done by hand as well, is also mentioned by Chaffin and is below:
A. n. S.
The fourth stone has some of its face damaged by erosion, hopefully mainly victim of the harsh New England elements over the many years passed. However, another likely contributing factor over the years, as alluded to by Chaffin regarding this burial ground in particular and unfortunately, still an act that occurs at burial grounds today, could be the result of senseless vandalism.
What can be deciphered is shown below. The characters with the [brackets] indicate that the characters on the stone are either not legible or are not visible at all and these characters that I show below are either what seems to be obvious what must have been there, or is borrowed from another source. Chaffin's transcriptions for these stones in his history of Easton written 120+ years ago were used to complete the transcriptions below as best as possible. However, I do not take all of Chaffin's transcriptions as definitive, as I've found inaccuracies here. And in fairness, this is understandable given the sheer mass of a project he undertook with his comprehensive and detailed Easton history of nearly 200 years at the time of his writing.
Notes follow below where clarification is required or if I disagree with Chaffin regarding the inscription itself. In the latter instance, I will offer a rationale:
Erected [in memory of]
M[r]s ABIGA[IL SHAW the wife of]
Mr. JOSHUA SHAW wh[o]
Died April y 8th
AD 1801 [in] ye 71[st]
Year of Her Age
Hous'd in the dus[t] my partner [lies,]
Secure from mortal strife,
Releas'd from all the cares and ties
Of this distracted life
Notes re above and below stones:
The fifth stone is as shown below:
The sixth stone is lying on the ground with the engraved side facing up and seems to have been in that state for many years. It is also cracked up the middle with some of the inscription difficult to read.
In M[emor]y o[f Sarah,]
wife o[f] Joseph Tink
ham wh[o d]ied Febry ye
27th 1796 [i]n ye 22d year
of her Age
Stop kind Reader drop a tear
Think on the du[s]t that slumber[s]
My tender year[s] and lifes Gay
From Death wou[ld] not exempt
Note re above transcription: Interestingly, there is a mixed use of long "s" and modern style lower case "s" in the poem above. On the stone, the third letter in the word "dust" appears to be a long "s", slumbers begins with a long "s" and "years" and "lifes" are inscribed with a modern lower case "s". It is this inconsistency that leaves a seed of doubt about my conclusion about the word "duff", two headstones above when I use character consistency as my main argument. [Editor's note - I have rendered it as "dust," based on my years of reading old stones] It should be fun for you to decide based on the evidence presented!
One final note about this burial ground. After Chaffin reviewed the inscriptions on the stones here, he specifically stated that "These are the sum-total of all inscriptions at this cemetery." But he never mentioned the smaller "Abigail Shaw" or "Tinkham" stones. It is probable that these were discovered after Chaffin's inspection and report and were then moved to this location.
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USGenWeb Easton, MA, commenced 23-Mar-2004.
Created and maintained by Dale H. Cook.
Transcriptions copyright © 2007-2015 by Thomas Keegan.
Copyright © 2007-2015 by Dale H. Cook. All rights reserved.