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Walpole Plains Cemetery
Walpole, Norfolk County, Massachusetts

walpole plains cemetery
Walpole Plains Cemetery

GPS: 42.138332, -71.283767

Kingsbury St (near intersection of West and Main)
Walpole, MA 02081

Published: July 27, 2016
Total records: 217

Walpole Plains Cemetery is managed by the Town of Walpole.


According to town history, The Plains is the second oldest cemetery in Walpole. However, it is possible that it pre-dates the Old Pioneers' Burial Place at the corner of Main and Kendall Streets. Rationale: People were buried on their properties without location identification. As early as 1650, what is now known as Walpole Plain was called "Easy Plain" and (John?) Mason and others had land there.

According to 1722 Dedham Town Records, two years before Walpole was set off from Dedham, some "Easy Plain" inhabitants petitioned to have a second highway laid out from Thomas Clap's by their houses to Stop River. Because few people had lots in the Old Burial Place, a piece of land about one third the size of the present Walpole Plains Cemetery was set off for burial purposes. This land was in a field between the two highways.

By the year 1800, men who were rich and influential owned the "Plain." To meet growing demands, a large addition was made to the burial grounds on the southerly and easterly sides.

In 1905, Isaac Newton Lewis, knowing that the old families on the "Plain" were nearly all gone either by death or relocation, decided that action had to be taken to guard and preserve the cemetery from violence and possible utter destruction. He communicated with lot owners in Boston, Milton and Walpole to present his ideas. In return for their help in organizing the Walpole Plain Cemetery Association, he offered to erect and donate a receiving tomb.

On Decoration Day May 30, 1905, he conducted a meeting of all lot owners. This meeting was in the old cemetery. Attendees were descendants of many of the original inhabitants, i.e. Baker, Bird, Bonney, Bowker, Clap, Dupee, Fales, Guild, Hartshorn, Kingsbury, Lewis, Pond, Shepard, Smith, Tarbot, Ware and others. On that date the group founded and subsequently incorporated the Walpole Plain Cemetery Association.

A small portion of the southwesterly section of the cemetery was selected for the proposed receiving tomb. In addition to having the tomb built, Isaac Newton Lewis donated 34 Maple trees that were planted around the borders of the cemetery. The body of Miss Abigail Guild, daughter of Horace Guild and a relative of I.N. Lewis was the first to occupy the tomb.

In April 1962, the Town of Walpole assumed total management of the Plains Cemetery.

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