Mount Auburn Cemetery is America’s first landscaped cemetery. Apparently that distinction entitled it to two entries on the list of 1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts. Most of the cemetery is located in Watertown, though the entrance lies in Cambridge. That must be why only Cambridge claimed it.
Aside from the list-makers’ failures, Mount Auburn Cemetery is a magnificent place to visit. The cemetery is credited as the beginning of the American public parks and gardens movement. It was the first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in the United States.
I’m not sure I understand why they allow cars to drive on the cemetery’s road, but prohibit bicycles and motorcycles.
Given its stature, there are many prominent residents:
- Charles Bulfinch (1763–1844), architect
- Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), religious leader
- Fannie Farmer (1857–1915), cookbook author
- Felix Frankfurter (1882–1965), United States Supreme Court Justice
- Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983), architect
- Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840–1924), art collector, museum founder
- Curt Gowdy (1919–2006), sportscaster
- B.F. Skinner (1904–1990), psychologist
I had never visited before and did so just to put another checkmark on my list. Even The Boy said the place was “pretty cool.” He wants go back there again and see more.