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Old Graveyard News...







Oct 18, 2018


Maryan L. Nowak, 87, passed away October 18, 2018 after a brief illness. 

Maryan served our Walker-Blake Graveyard Restoration Project, Inc. as Director. 

He also served on the Taunton River Stewardship Council.  

He was very energetic working for the benefit the graveyard. We could always count on him to have suggestions and guidance. 

We will miss his wonderful demeanor and counsel. 

Our condolences go out to Maryan’s family.

June 8, 2018

Bob Bates was interviewed by Rebecca Hyman, Editor, of the Taunton Gazette Newspaper.  The focus of the article was the history and restoration of the graveyard and grant money we had received from Bill Napolitano, the environmental program director at SRPEDD (Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District) and staff assistant to the Taunton River Stewardship Council.

May 6, 2014

Charles Albert, 99, of Barrington, RI died on May 6, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Elfriede A. Collis.  At the time of his death, Charlie was on the Board of Directors of the Walker-Blake Graveyard Restoration Project, Inc. 

Born March 13, 1915 in Taunton, MA, Charles attended Huntington School in Boston, MA followed by Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. After graduating from College in 1937, he was involved in many businesses.

In 1963, Charles Collis established his own company, Princess House, Inc. which manufactures and sells hand-blown glass and giftware.

He was a leading philanthropist who supported many charitable causes. His lifelong recreational enjoyment was boating, golf and fishing.

I met Charlie in 1998.  I was out of town on business when my wife called and said that Mr. Collis had called and was interested in the Walker-Blake Graveyard Restoration Project as he was a descendant of the Walkers.  That night I called Charlie and he said that he would like to help but that he was up in years and would not be able to physically help but that he could help financially.  We met in person on my next trip to Taunton.  Charlie drove me around to see some historic buildings and a cemetery in East Providence where other Walkers were buried.  As a Director, Charlie shared his opinions and gave guidance on the restoration and protection of the Walker-Blake Graveyard, the resting place of his ancestors.  Charlie was someone who had accomplished great works with such humility.  He will be missed.

August 25, 2011

We received a letter from the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) staff who evaluated the Walker-Blake Graveyard, and determined that it was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  With this approval we proceeded with the formal nomination of the graveyard.  The MHC noted that we could not get approval without having the permission of the owner.

July 16, 2006

Newspaper article in the Taunton Gazette.  Staff writer Sabrina Shankman interviewed Bob Bates at the Walker-Blake Graveyard.  The story was about all the graveyards in Taunton and featured contributions made by Charles Crowley, City Councilor, and Marilyn Greene, Cemetery Commissioner.  The story highlighted the challenge to maintain all of Taunton's  cemeteries.

January 24, 2003

I did an on air interview with Paul Giomarco of the Taunton radio station WPEP.  Also interviewed was Jane Hennedy of the Old Colony Historical Society.  We spoke of the importance of restoring and protecting the Walker-Blake Graveyard for future generations.

January 30, 2001

The Walker-Blake Graveyard received a grant of $2,500 from The Collis Foundation.  This money was used towards the restoration of the graveyard.

January 23, 2001 

The Walker-Blake Graveyard received $10,000.00 from the estate of Christine White Trust.  Christine wanted the money to "be used for the benefit of the Walker Cemetery (South Purchase), the burial place of the first three generations of Corneilius White and their wives (1755-1806)." 

October 1, 2000

We participated in the Taunton Municipal Power and Light (TMLP) 14th annual Community Day celebration.  Sponsored by TMLP employees, the event featured refreshments, clowns, magicians, face painting, a trackless train run and trolley.  We gave tours of the Walker-Blake Graveyard to 100's of visitors.  

April 27, 1999

Newspaper article in the Taunton Gazette.  Staff writer David Connolly interviewed Bob Bates at the Walker-Blake Graveyard.  The story was about recent vandalism at the graveyard.  About 30 gravestones were toppled over and smashed.  To date over $50,000 had been spent repairing the markers.  It was estimated the cost to repair the stones would be $15,000.  Some of the stones had been repaired within the past year.  It was after this vandalism that the security system was installed.

November 18, 1996

Newspaper article in the Taunton Gazette.  Staff writer George W. Rhodes interviewed Bob Bates at the Walker-Blake Graveyard.  The story was about the start of the gravestone restoration work.  The article covered all the problems of vandalism and tree damage.  The bright spot of the article was the interview of Minxie and Jim Fannin.  Minxie said "This is really the physical history of the town and these are art objects.  There are some beautiful carving in this cemetery.  We have high hopes for the cemetery.  We really believe it can be restored."

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