Leaf Season at Mount Auburn Cemetery

Leaf Season at Mount Auburn Cemetery

Photos taken at the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Watertown, MA, on October 28, 2007.

Mount Auburn Cemetery was the first garden cemetery in North America, established in 1831. Very many famous people from Boston are buried there, but it was also intended to serve as a public park and botanical garden with many specimens of trees and flowering shrubs.

Copyright (c) 2007, Sandra J. Loosemore. Photos are provided for personal viewing only; no other use is permitted without prior written consent.


Here's a view of some nice fall colors, taken near the cemetery entrance.

Just up the path, this is Henry Longfellow's grave.

This gravestone is quite unique, and very large.
Nearby is a statue of Nathaniel Bowditch, of navigational fame. He's buried elsewhere in the cemetery.

Another unique monument.

Here and there in the cemetery, I spotted some modestly sized but elaborately carved white marble monuments like this one.

This stone shaped like a stump was in the same group as the anchor one above.

This is Auburn Lake, a pretty pond.

The area next to the Auburn Lake is obviously a high-rent district, with some large and imposing tombs. This one belongs to Isabella Stewart Gardner, of the museum.

Here are some more colorful leaves.

It seems Fido is resting with his human family.

This poor dog looks disconsolate at his human's grave.

Climbing up the hill near the middle of the cemetery, this is the artist Winslow Homer's grave.

Another nice view.

There's an observation tower on top of the hill.

Here's a city view from the base of the tower. The two obelisks in the foreground were probably about the tallest monuments in the cemetery. They're covered with writing about the people they memorialize.

Here's a view of the Boston skyline from the top of the tower. The structure in the center of the photo is the Harvard Stadium.
Still on top of the tower, this is a telephoto view of the Skating Club of Boston rink on the other side of the river. The rink was "home" to Maribel Vinson Owen and her daughters Laurence and Maribel, who were killed with the rest of the U.S. Figure Skating team in the plane crash in 1961. Their remains are in one of the chapels in the cemetery, in an area that isn't open to the general public.

This is Buckminster Fuller's grave. I was expecting something a little more dramatic in design.

Another view of the fall foliage.

It took me a while to recognize that the carved stuff on top of this monument was supposed to be a sheaf of wheat. At first I was thinking this was symbolic of the Grim Reaper, but it's really supposed to represent a long and fruitful life.

On the other hand, a tree stump is supposed to represent a life cut short.

Here's another stone featuring some super-elaborate carving. Besides the open book, it includes myrtle and ferns, which are supposed to represent friendship and sincerity.

The carver really went overboard on this one, with ferns (sincerity), lilies (purity), ivy (friendship), and some random flowers, too. In the background there's another stone with wheat decoration. In the Victorian era, folks had a whole symbolism of mourning.

Another take on the sheaf-of-wheat theme.

This was the largest and most elaborate of the stump-shaped monuments I saw.

I was surprised to see a few rhododendrons still in bloom at the end of October.

This is the Willow Pond, at the south end of the cemetery. Willows are also highly symbolic of mourning.

Willow Pond from the other side. There are graves in this area, too, but they all have only small markers set flat in the ground.

This is the grave of Doc Edgerton, famous for his strobe photography.

Yet another sheaf-of-wheat gravestone.

This large sphynx statue is a Civil War monument.

Right across from the sphynx, there's a little Gothic chapel.

Here's a large, fancy monument. I noticed that a lot of the plots in the cemetery included one really large and imposing family monument and many smaller stones to mark the graves of what was sometimes several generations.


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