The Walker-Blake Graveyard is not owned by the City of Taunton. The final resting place for the Walker and Blake families was privately owned. The ownership of the graveyard is considered lost in history. The last land transaction concerning the graveyard took place in 1964. Mr. Ralph M. Strange conveyed to the Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant (TMLP) of the City of Taunton all the land from Somerset Ave. to the Taunton River. On those lands, the Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant built the Cleary Station. The cemetery was excluded in the sale of the land so the cemetery is "land-locked" in the TMLP property.
Some old deeds describe the transfer of the graveyard between principals. One deed is the deed of Edward Walker to Joseph Atwood in 1750. Edward Walker died and was buried in the graveyard two years after the date of the deed. In the deed, Edward says the "burying place" may be used by Joseph Atwood’s and Edward Blake’s “relations” that they may bury their dead with full power and lease and liberty to cross Edward’s land "to carry their dead to the burying place".
DEED OF THE WALKER BURYING GROUND
[Copied from the original]
To all people to whom these presents shall come: I, Edward Walker of Taunton, yeoman, sendeth greeting; Know ye that I, the said Edward, for and in consideration of the love, good will that I have and do bear to my kinsman, Joseph Atwood of Dighton and County of Bristol, gentleman, and divers other good considerations, me thereby, moving to give, grant and make over to Joseph Atwood a certain piece of land in Taunton, near ye Great River, on the west side thereof, running north in the range of Edward Blake’s house and so to said Blake’s fence, and is that piece of land where Joseph Atwood and many others lie buried, it being about one acre, to have and to hold to Joseph Atwood and all relations that I have or shall have to lye forever a burying place, where I or any of my relations that shall see cause, may bury their dead; with such power, lease and liberty to pass or repass through any other part of my land to carry their dead to said burying ground, provided they go where it is most convenient and least prejudicial to me or my heirs or assigns, without any molestation from me or my heirs, executors, administrators, forever, reserving wood on it to my heirs, etc.
In witness thereof, I give and bequeath said piece of land for a burying place, April 23, 1750. Bounded, north corner, leap of stones, easterly to river, to a small black oak with stones about it, then northerly to a white oak tree in range of Mr. Edward Blake’s land and stones, by a rock north to said Blake’s fence and rock with stones upon it.
TITLE SEARCH ON WALKER-BLAKE GRAVEYARD
In March 1989, Taunton attorneys prepared a "Title Search on Blake (Walker-Blake) Cemetery"for the trustee of the Charles A. Blake trust. The summary of the report noted that:
April 4, 1711 Peter Walker died testate, Bristol County Probate - died owning approximately 400 acres of land in Dighton and Taunton.
Will: Rest and residue clause-
1/2 to son, Peter Walker
1/4 to son, Edward Walker
1/4 to son, James Walker
No description of land given in probate documents.
April 23, 1750 Edward Walker conveyed to Joseph Atwood one acre of land burial
grounds "that piece of land and is at that place where Joseph Atwood and many others lie buried".
Book 37, page 288
December 9, 1752 Edward Walker died testate. Bristol County Probate. Will: (1) To Josiah Richmond my homestead farm and building - approximately 20 acres. (2) Rest and residue to Eleazer Walker.