Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Taunton, Mass.) Records

1 box (0.25 linear foot)
Call no.: MS 1100
rotating decorative images from SCUA collections

Situated on ten acres, Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Taunton, Mass., was designed by Joseph Wilbar and consecrated on July, 1836, just the third rural- or garden-style cemetery in the United States. After a long period of decline in the mid-twentieth century, it was taken over by the city in 1985.

The records of Mount Pleasant Cemetery include an account book with detailed records of expenditures, work performed, and compensation received at the cemetery, and a small selection of ephemera, including two surveys at the time of its establishment.

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Background on Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Taunton, Mass.)

An image of: Adhesive sticker for Taunton Cemetery

Adhesive sticker for Taunton Cemetery

Following design principles set out in Mount Auburn Cemetery four years previously, Mount Pleasant Cemetery was opened in Taunton, Mass., in July 1836. Just the third rural (or garden) cemetery in the United States, Mount Pleasant entered planning in 1835 when Samuel L. Crocker deeded a ten acre, diamond-shaped tract of land southwest of Taunton Green bounded by Crocker, Cohannet, and Barnum Streets. The property included a small family burial plot containing graves of members of the King family dating back to 1710. It was laid out by Joseph Wilbar, and apparently represents his only commission as a landscape architect.

The cemetery was incorporated in 1836 under the proprietorship of Crocker and Wilbar along with prominent local figures George B. Atwood, H.G.O. Colby, Samuel O. Dunbar, Anselm Bassett, and Samuel B. King. An endowment fund was established for the cemetery beginning in 1870, and it was provided with a wrought iron fence and entrance gate on Crocker Street in 1926. Following a long period of decline and neglect, the city of Taunton took ownership of the cemetery in April 1985. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

Scope of collection

The records of Mount Pleasant Cemetery are a fortunate survival of one of the country's oldest rural cemeteries. The account book is a detailed record of expenditures, work performed, and compensation received at the cemetery (as opposed to the sale of plots) during its first five decades of operation, along with tomb rental payments. The ephemera are of particular interest, and include a printed notice of the consecration ceremony and printed order of exercises and two early surveys and plans of the cemetery depicting it at about the time when the land was deeded to the corporation. The subject of the cabinet card included in the collection is no identified, but resembles known images of Mount Pleasant's designer Joseph Wilbar.


Consecration ephemera
Folder 1
Consecration at Mount Pleasant
1836 June 29
Consecration of Mount Pleasant: Order of exercises
ca.1836 June
Plan of land: Mr. Crocker to the T[aunton] Cemetery
Folder 2
Plan of land surveyed for a burying ground
1835 Sept.
Folder 3
Stoddart. C. H. (photographer): Joseph Wilbar
Folder 4

Miscellaneous ephemera: printed form for announcement of trustees meetings; Taunton Cemetery stickers
Folder 5
Account book
Vol. 1

Administrative information


The collection is open for research.


Acquired from Between the Covers, Oct. 2019 (2019-163).

Digitized content

The ephemera in the collection has been digitized and may be viewed online in SCUA's digital repository, Credo.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Oct. 2019.



Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Taunton, Mass.) Records (MS 1100). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms


  • Cemeteries--Massachusetts--Taunton
  • Taunton (Mass.)--History--19th century


  • Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Taunton, Mass.) [main entry]

Genres and formats

  • Account books
  • Land surveys
  • Maps (Documents)

Link to similar SCUA collections