Mount Auburn Cemetery

From Academic Kids

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Mount Auburn Cemetery
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Mount Auburn Cemetery
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Hunnewell family obelisk
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Bigelow Chapel
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Civil War memorial

Founded in 1831 as "America's first garden cemetery", Mount Auburn Cemetery is an Elysium where, traditionally, chaste classical monuments were set in rolling landscaped terrain. This 174 acre (70 ha) cemetery is important both for its historical aspects and for its role as a fine arboretum. It is located at the corner of Mount Auburn and Brattle Streets near Fresh Pond at the western end of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and is adjacent to the Cambridge City Cemetery and Sand Banks Cemetery.

To grasp the importance of Mt. Auburn Cemetery one must realize that when it was formed in 1831 no space combining burials with rugged terrain and picturesque landscaping existed in the United States or in Europe. -- Old Cambridge ISBN 0262530147, p. 69.

Mount Auburn Cemetery was inspired by Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, and is credited as the beginning of the American public parks and gardens movement. It set the style for other suburban American cemeteries such as Laurel Hill Cemetery (Philadelphia, 1836), Greenwood Cemetery (Brooklyn, 1838), and Forest Hills Cemetery (Jamaica Plain, 1848). It can be considered as the link between Capability Brown's English landscape gardens, and Frederick Law Olmsted's Central Park in New York (1850s).

Mount Auburn is well known for its tranquil atmosphere and accepting attitude towards death. Many of the more traditional monuments feature poppy flowers, symbols of blissful sleep.

More than 80,000 persons are buried in the cemetery, and number of historically significant people have been interred here over the last 175 years, particularly members of the Boston Brahmins and the Boston elite associated with Harvard University as well as a number of prominent Unitarians. However, the cemetery is nondenominational and continues to make space available for new plots. The area is well known for its beautiful environs and is a favorite location for Cambridge bird-watchers. Guided tours of the cemetery's historic, artistic, and horticultural points of interest are also available.

Mount Auburn's superb collection of over 5,500 trees includes nearly 700 species and varieties. Thousands of very well-kept shrubs and herbaceous plants weave through the cemetery's hills, ponds, woodlands, and clearings. The cemetery contains more than 10 miles (17 km) of roads and many paths. Landscaping styles range from Victorian-era plantings to contemporary gardens, from natural woodlands to formal ornamental gardens, and from sweeping vistas through majestic trees to small enclosed spaces. Many trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plans are tagged with botanic labels containing their scientific and common names.

Notable persons interred at Mount Auburn

See also

External links

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