April 7, 2015

Cambridge, MA. September, 2007

Does this look like a cemetery to you? Maybe it would if you lived but a few blocks from it as I do. In 1831, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society purchased 72 acres of mature woodland situated in Watertown and Cambridge for the creation of a “rural cemetery” and experimental garden. Bostonians founded Mount Auburn for both practical and aesthetic reasons: to solve an urban land-use problem created by an increasing number of burials in the city, and to create a tranquil and beautiful place where families could commemorate their loved ones with tasteful works of art in an inviting and natural setting. The public flocked to the new cemetery and Mount Auburn quickly became the model for the American "rural" cemetery movement. Among those buried here are Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Isabella Stewart Gardner, B.F. Skinner and Mary Baker Eddy. (Can you spot the heron in this picture?)

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