Halcyon Lake

One of Mount Auburn's four waterbodies, Halcyon Lake and its surrounding landscape reflect late 19th-century landscape design and cemetery development practices.

About Halcyon Lake

Waterbody/Internment Area/Landscape
Former water areas filled in: mid 1800s
Circular formation of Halcyon Lake: 1870
Landscape Renovations: 1998 by Reed-Hilderbrand

Halcyon Lake is located in the western section of what was once Garden Pond. Garden Pond consisted of three large lobes in the northeastern corner of the Cemetery. In 1855 – 1856, the western lobe of Garden Pond was filled in because of stagnant water and in order to create additional burial space. In 1864, Halcyon Avenue was built around eastern lobe of the Pond, and lots were sold. In 1870, the eastern lobe of Garden Pond was surveyed by Ernest Bowditch of Shedd & Sawyer and then shaped into a circular body of water called Halcyon Lake. In 1875, the trustees voted that no fences or curbs be placed around lots in the area so as to create a more open, garden like landscape. The Mary Baker Eddy Memorial, designed by architect Egerton Swartwout, was built from 1915 – 1917. Other monuments in the area include mausoleums, columns, an altar, and an obelisk. In 1998, rehabilitation of adjacent areas by Reed-Hilderbrand landscape architects included new plantings and removal of damaged trees and invasive shrubs. In 1999, Halcyon Lake dredged, and in 2000 aeration pumps were installed. Diverse species of trees and shrubs include Sawara Falsecypress, Purple European Beech, Smoothleaf Elm, Golden Weeping Willow, Slender Deutzia, and Ginkgo.