October 19, 2009

Albert Augustus Pope (1843-1909) was the founder of the Pope Manufacturing Company, which produced the immensely popular “Columbia” bicycle. Pope was an advocate for bicycles in Victorian America, and sponsored races and the Boston Bicycle Club. He diversified into automobile production, with his automobiles known as the Pope Motor Carriage, later renamed the Colombia Automobile Company, which was spun off and which was sold to the Electric Vehicle Company. His production methods pointed the way for the building of automobiles through lightweight metals, rubber tires, precision machining, interchangeability of parts, and vertical integration, and he was also an advocate for improved roads and came be called the “Father of Good Roads.” The Pope Monument is on Arbutus Path and was designed by the Boston architectural firm of Dwight and Chandler and built in 1896 as a classical temple front with four granite Doric columns supporting a pediment and set against a stone embankment wall. The classically inspired monument has a large bronze tablet of an angel set into the wall, of a whispering ethereal angel, flanked by family names with small headstones fronting the lot.

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