Sweet Auburn Fall 2013

September 22, 2013

Thomas Handasyd Perkins Monument, Lot 108 Central Avenue, by Jennifer Johnston

The Art of Memory: Monuments Through Time

“Many of the pleasures of Mount Auburn are ephemeral, from the brightly-plumaged warblers and vibrant flowers of the spring to the spectacular foliage of the fall. But one feature remains constant throughout the year–the monuments erected in the landscape to honor the memory of those buried here. These monuments, ranging from inscribed flat memorials to tall and grand works of sculptural art, appear to be solid unmoving stone, but they have lives of their own, both in the stories they tell and in their presence in the landscape around them.”   – David Barnett, President, Mount Auburn Cemetery             

Stories Behind the Stones: What is Your Favorite Monument?

Mount Auburn Receives a Federal Grant from IMLS

Mount Auburn Cemetery is delighted to announce that it has received a Museums for America Award from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS).  The award, in the amount of $92,000, will allow Mount Auburn to further implement the preservation of the Cemetery’s Significant Monument Collection. “This is a great honor for Mount Auburn,” Dave Barnett, Mount Auburn Cemetery President and CEO said of the award. “We are thrilled with this national recognition of Mount Auburn and its collections.”  Learn more

Read more about the significant monuments that will benefit from the IMLS grant.

Our New Greenhouse

On Saturday, April 6th Mount Auburn Cemetery celebrated the opening of its new Greenhouse along Grove Street in Watertown with an Open House. The new facility replaces Mount Auburn’s previous 41-year-old facility at the same location. Following a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 PM, the public was invited to tour the new facility, hearing from Mount Auburn’s own horticultural staff about the building and Mount Auburn’s nationally-recognized horticulture program, known for its sustainable maintenance practices.  Learn more

The New Entry Way for Historic Story Chapel, completed in 2013

In 2009, the Friends of Mount Auburn was awarded a $132,000 matching grant by the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (MCFF) to build a new entryway for Mount Auburn’s historic Story Chapel that would help make our Visitors Center more welcoming and accessible. The noted architect Willard T. Sears’ original 1896-1898 design of Story Chapel included an elaborate entrance “…through a large door, protected by a porte-cochere, which extends well over the driveway leading to the building from the main entrance to the cemetery.” (Cambridge Chronicle, 1898) Due to structural weakness and its inability to accommodate large hearses and most automobiles, the porte-cochere was removed on July 22, 1971.  Learn more


Mount Auburn’s Director of Preservation and Facilities Gus Fraser and Curator of Historical Collections Meg L. Winslow accepting the award at the VSA/NE 40th Annual Preservation Awards Ceremony from VSA/NE Peggy Clarke, June 2013, Copyright SusanWilsonPhoto.com



The Victorian Society of America/New England Chapter presented Mount Auburn with a Preservation Award for Recent Monument Conservation Projects and the New Story Chapel Entrance Way



The African American Heritage Trail

Among those now buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery are authors, journalists, jurists, lawyers, politicians, musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs, activists, and reformers that help to illustrate the African American experience in Boston and beyond during the 19th and 20th centuries. On February 11, 2013 the Friends of Mount Auburn launched an Interpretive Trail to celebrate the lives and legacies of seventeen individuals significant in telling this story. A number of people joined us in Story Chapel as we launched the new Trail – paying special tribute to one of the figures highlighted on the Trail: freedom-seeker, abolitionist, and author Harriet Jacobs, who was born on February 11, 1813.  Watch videos of the event!

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