Local Heart, Global Soul

December 24, 2009

Boston and The Granary Burying Ground.

(photo © kiwidutch)

We are looking around Boston Common and visiting the Granary Burying Ground. This cemetery was established in 1660  and has over 2300 grave sites and is the cities third oldest cemetery.

People buried here include three signatories of the Declaration of Independence and the five victims of the Boston Massacre. The cemetery is adjacent to Park Street Church and immediately across from Suffolk University Law School.

The cemetery’s Egyptian revival gate and fence were designed by Boston architect Isaiah Rogers.

Tombs were initially placed near the back of the property and on 15 May 1717 a vote was passed by the town to enlarge the Burying Ground by taking part of the highway on the eastern side, (now Tremont Street). The enlargement was carried out in 1720 when 15 tombs were created and assigned to a number of Boston families.

One of the most striking features of the Burying Ground was the row of eleven large European elms, (now gone) that fronted it on Tremont Street.The elms were planted in1762 by Major Adino Paddock and John Ballard, and by 1856 reached ten feet in circumference.

The walk under the elms was known as “Paddock’s Mall.” Ironically while the entrance was shaded by the large elms, the grounds itself were devoid of any trees at all until the first major improvement was undertaken in 1830 when a number of trees were planted around the grounds.

In January 2009 an previously unknown crypt was discovered when a tourist on a self-guided tour through the cemetery fell through the ground into what appeared to be a stairway leading to a crypt. The stairway had been covered with a piece of slate which eventually gave way due to advanced age. The tourist was not hurt nor did she come into contact with any human remains. The crypt is reported to be 8 by 12 feet in size and is structurally intact. The crypt is possibly the resting place of Jonathan Armitage, a Boston selectman from 1732 to 1733.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

Prominently displayed in the Burying Ground is an obelisk erected in 1827 to the parents and relatives Benjamin Franklin who was born in Boston and is buried in Philadelphia. The obelisk was constructed to replace the original Franklin family gravestones which had been in poor condition. The new memorial was dedicated on 15 June 1827.

Some beautiful stonework…

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

A lot of history…

(photo © kiwidutch)

Guides in historical costumes…

(photo © kiwidutch)

The stonework of the  outside wall decoration is also it’s own art work…

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

a beautiful resting place…

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

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