Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Photo by Michael Kleen

Mount Auburn Cemetery, at 580 Mt Auburn Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was the country’s first rural cemetery. Designed by landscape architect Alexander Wadsworth, it opened in 1841 and quickly became one of the most visited destinations in the country. Rural cemeteries were laid out like gardens, with winding paths, ponds, and hills, and many, like Mount Auburn, also serve as arboretums. Mount Auburn was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003. It is 200 acres and is the final resting place for approximately 70,000 people.

My Lost Youth

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was America’s greatest poet. He was a Harvard professor, translator, and like many New Englanders, an abolitionist prior to the American Civil War. “Paul Revere’s Ride”, “My Lost Youth”, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline are counted among his works.

By the Uprising of a Great People

A granite Sphinx by Irish-American sculptor Martin Milmore commemorating the end of the American Civil War. Its inscription reads: “American Union Preserved; African Slavery Destroyed; By the Uprising of a Great People; By the Blood of Fallen Heroes.” It was erected in 1872.

The Evidence of Things Not Seen

A breathtaking white marble statue depicting an angel lifting a woman’s veil while holding an inverted torch (symbolizing life extinguished) in memory of three Chickering women: Elizabeth Sumner Harraden Chickering (1803-1879), Eliza Wild Chickering (1837-1860), and Garefilia Oakes Chickering (1830-1912). The Chickerings are an old New England family. Their epitaph reads: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Their Favorite

Marble monument to a favorite pet, preserved behind thick glass, in the Wingate family plot.

Architect Of New Beginnings

Charles Sumner (1811-1874) was an influential U.S. Senator prior to the American Civil War. A vocal opponent of slavery, he was notoriously beaten with a cane on the Senate floor by South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks. After the war, he was a radical reconstructionist who fought to grant total legal freedom and equality to ex-slaves in the South.

Author: Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and occasional traveler. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He enjoys studying military history, folklore, and philosophy.

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.