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