What is Your Favorite Monument?

May 8, 2013

Friends of Mount Auburn Trustee Sean McDonnell finds the Thompson memorial in Halcyon Garden is one of those monuments that can catch the light and make an entire walk more worthwhile.

“It is hard to say that I have a favorite monument…I prefer the days when there are shadows and dark corners and some light comes through the trees and one of the monuments stand out and catch the light. If the light is right, the memorial to architect Ben Thompson tucked along the edge of the Coolidge Avenue is one of those monuments that can catch the light and make the entire walk more worthwhile.”

– Sean McDonnell, Friends of Mount Auburn Trustee



Author Sydney Nathans, Ph.D. lectures to an audience at Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Story Chapel.

“Atop the obelisk marking the grave of once-enslaved Mary Walker (Lot 4312 Kalmia Path) is a unique figure chosen by her daughter–a winged dove about to alight–that to me beautifully symbolizes the release Mary Walker pursued for her family and the redemption she achieved for them and for her soul.”

– Dr. Sydney Nathans, Duke University Professor Emeritus and author of To Free a Family.

The Walker monument on Kalmia Path is Dr. Nathans’ favorite.







“The baby’s bassinet up the path from Spruce always causes great reflection.”  -Mount Auburn Volunteer Bill McEvoy

The Wigglesworth Cradle on Trefoil Path always brings about moments of great reflection for Mount Auburn Cemetery volunteers Bill McEvoy and Robin Ray.


Mount Auburn volunteer Robin Ray finds the Wigglesworth cradle one of the most memorable monuments at the Cemetery.

The Wigglesworth Cradle on Trefoil Path is a favorite for more than one Mount Auburn volunteer.

Mount Auburn Volunteer Bill McEvoy often pauses to reflect at the Wigglesworth cradle on Trefoil Path.















“Remembering Ned” a bench overlooking Willow Pond at the Cemetery is a favorite out of the way destination of Mount Auburn Volunteer Helen Abrams.


Mount Auburn Volunteer Helen Abrams feels a special connection to a bench overlooking Willow Pond “Rembering Ned.




“My favorite memorial is a bench overlooking Willow Pond called ‘Remembering Ned.’  I like that it is a location…kind of out of the way but with a great view of the peace and beauty of this part of the Cemetery. From the bench I’ve seen a cormorant on the shore drying out its wings, a great blue heron flying across the pond, and I’ve heard several bullfrogs serenading each other. I also love the wording – ‘Remembering Ned.’ It’s active and continual. Whoever chose it is keeping Ned in his/her memory all the time in this wonderful spot.

– Helen Abrams, Mount Auburn Cemetery Volunteer







Julio Ortiz from Mount Auburn’s Preservation Department likes the statue of Hosea Ballou on Central Avenue, “I like the statue because of his actions as a minister and also because of the statue’s great size.”






Julio Ortiz from Mount Auburn’s Preservation Department likes the marble statue of Reverend Hosea Ballou on Central Avenue “because of his actions as a minister and also because of the statue’s great size.”  Julio and other members of the Cemetery’s talented preservation staff cleaned the larger than life portrait of the renowned American Universalist minister in 2010. The overall statue is a colossal 14 feet in height.







Gardening Supervisor Darryl Sullivan admires the stack of three large boulders in the Jones family lot on Central Avenue, “It’s grandiose but not overwhelming.”

















Accounting Manager Melinda Moulton admires the decorative marble headstones in the Wigglesworth lot on Trefoil Path: “I like the entire section because of the elaborate detail and beauty.”


Jose Cirino from Mount Auburn’s Preservation Department finds the Nirvana Stupa on Story Road impressive: “It commands your attention.”














The Winchester Tomb on Narcissus Path often reminds Mount Auburn’s Director of Preservation & Facilities, Gus Fraser “of the strange little buildings you’d see in English gardens, reflective of the Cemetery’s origins.”


Former Development Assistant Samantha Furbush chose the slate headstone for Arthur Schlesinger with a bowtie engraved above the inscription as her favorite monument, asking “Who doesn’t love a bowtie? “

















The Sphinx holds special appeal for Greenhouse Technician & Gardner Tuti Santiago, “I like it because it’s unique and exotic. You can see a Sphinx without having to travel to Egypt.”
















A flush marker on Walnut Avenue is Cemetery Development & Preservation Associate Katherine Robinson’s favorite monument: “I love the symbolism of the marker’s placement, especially when considered with the poem inscribed: ‘But now I know you want me/ to mourn for you no more/ to remember all the happy times/ life still has much in store.’”


Security Guard & Visitor Services Representative Al Parker stops to consider a flat bronze marker near Willow Pond Path with the text of a letter from the deceased to a surviving loved one: “It’s so different and personal, someone wrote a letter and it was used as a grave marker.”














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