I got a chance to visit the Whittaker Cemetery this week on Decoration Day and was reminded of a story Clyde Whittaker had told me about the origins of that cemetery.
The land for the cemetery was donated by one of Clyde’s ancestors, John Whittaker. He lived near one of the corners of the land and when his mother passed away, they buried her in the back yard. So, when the town of Monterey grew to the point that a public cemetery was needed, he donated this property.
Mrs. Whittaker’s original stone has been lost but a modern stone marks that plot as the earliest grave. Nearby are two graves marked by a single stone but with no names, only noted as relatives of John Whittaker. And, there are no dates on Mrs. Whittaker’s stone. nHowever, on Ancestry I found John Whittaker III who lived 1783 – 1869.
This old cemetery has some of the tent graves we’ve talked about here before. I was surprised to see a 1938 date on one tent grave as I would’ve thought that tradition had died by then. And a son of John Whittaker III was buried in 1900 under a tent grave.
You know I’m always asking for the whys and hows of settlements and such so it’s exciting to hear an legend like this one about the origins of Whittaker Cemetery.