December 30, 2009

Forest Hills Educational Trust

The Forest Hills Educational Trust is a nonprofit organization founded in 1991 to preserve, enhance, interpret and celebrate the myriad aspects of Forest Hills Cemetery. The Trust organizes a variety of programs inspired by the Cemetery’s unique environment – walking tours, concerts, poetry readings, a summer camp program, and adventurous exhibitions of contemporary art as well as moving ceremonies of remembrance. These activities are designed to encourage the community to explore one of the city’s premier treasures. At first, many people are surprised to find so much happening in a cemetery. However, they quickly realize that Forest Hills is an extraordinary resource, a place to experience art, nature, and history as well as a tranquil sanctuary for reflection and remembrance. Forest Hills Cemetery is an active cemetery and the first rural, or arboretum cemetery in the city of Boston.

The Trust’s expert tour guides – many of them volunteers – give visitors a glimpse of the history of Boston through the stories of the people buried at Forest Hills Cemetery. Other tours reveal the meaning of the symbols carved in stone memorials – oak leaves for strength, ivy for a faithful nature – and stop at bronze and marble sculpture by the most eminent artists of the 19th and early 20th century; the Forest Hills Educational Trust raises funds to engage conservators every year to care for some of these endangered masterpieces, which are damaged by pollution and New England weather. The Lantern Festival and a traditional Day of the Dead are major community events that draw thousands every year; the beauty and spirituality of Forest Hills make it an inspiring setting to gather and celebrate the memory of family and friends. The Trust’s exhibitions of contemporary art offer new ways to think about age-old themes of family, ancestors, nature, remembrance, the cycles of life, and the world of the spirits. These programs are extremely innovative and have become a national model; however, the Trust is working to restore the original vision of the Cemetery as a destination, a welcoming place for the living as well as an eternal home for the dead.

December 28, 2009

Amy Beach~ Composer

Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (1867-1944) was born in West Henniker, New Hampshire. Musically precocious, she sang improvised harmony parts at age two, composed at age four, and began piano studies with her mother, Clara Imogene Marcy Cheney, at age six, giving her first public recitals at seven.
At the age of thirteen, she wrote “The Rainy Day” following a visit with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poem’s author. It was her first published song. In 1875 the Cheney family moved to Boston, where Amy studied piano, harmony, counterpoint, and composition with Ernst Perabo and Carl Baermann and formal training in composition with Junius W. Hill, with whom she studied harmony and counterpoint for a year. In 1885 she made her piano debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

In 1885 she married Dr. Henry Harris Aubrey Beach (1813-1910,) a socially prominent surgeon, Harvard professor, and musical amateur. In accordance with his wishes, she limited her public appearances and concentrated on composition until after his death in 1910. In 1911 she traveled to Germany, where she toured as a virtuoso pianist, playing and accompanying her own works to critical acclaim. In 1914 she returned to the United States, where she maintained an active schedule of winter touring and summer composing for many years and she spent time at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. In 1915, she wrote Ten Commandments for Young Composers, which expressed many of her self-teaching principles.

Mrs. Beach compsed works in many genres, including a Mass, a symphony, a piano concerto, and works for chamber ensembles, piano, mixed chorus, and solo voice as well as the first composition by a woman ever performed by the Handel and Haydn Society. Her thirty works for women's chorus, including several cantatas, are well-crafted in a romantic idiom, always with intelligent text setting.
Mrs. Beach's Three Shakespeare Songs, Op.44, all use verses in which fairies' beguiling and alarming magic makes nonsense of the human lovers' nuptial arrangements and the artisans' clumsy plans to put on a play, moving the action to the enchanted wood outside Athens and introducing Puck. "Come unto these yellow sands" (The Tempest 1.2) is the song the invisible Ariel sings to the shipwrecked, bewildered (and presumably still dripping) Ferdinand: an invitation to the dance that tells him he's not in Naples any more. "Through the house give glimmering light" (A Midsummer Night's Dream 5.1) is Oberon and Titiania's epilogue to the closing marriage banquet, proof that the fairies' happy influence now extends to the city, the banquet hall, and even to the marriage bed.
In 2000 at Boston's famous Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, the Boston Pops paid tribute to Beach. Her name was added to the granite wall on "The Shell". It joins 86 other composers such as Bach, Handel, Chopin and Beethoven. Amy Beach is the only woman composer on the granite wall. The Beaches are buried at Forest Hills Cemetery in a lot on Dahlia Path off Catalpa Avenue.
Beach once said that “no other life than that of a musician could ever have been possible for me.”

December 27, 2009

Lucy Stone~ Reformer

Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was born in West Brookfield, Massachusetts and was descended from an old New England family. Her father, Francis Stone, was a well-to-do farmer and tanner who believed that men were divinely ordained to rule over women. Her mother, Hannah Stone, accepted this view, but even as a young child Lucy became resentful. Though her brothers were sent to Harvard College, her father was shocked when she asked to go to college, and he gave her no financial support. She determined to educate herself, and at age sixteen, she began to teach district school at a dollar per week. During this time her hostility toward the existing status of women increased, especially when she learned that women had no vote in the affairs of the Congregational Church in West Brookfield of which she was a member. Finally in 1843 she had earned the money to enter Oberlin College. At college she was looked upon as a dangerous radical, for she was an ardent abolitionist, was uncompromising on the question of women's rights and became Unitarian in religion. In 1847 she graduated from Oberlin, the first Massachusetts woman to earn a college degree. She refused an invitation to write a commencement address because she would not have been permitted to read it herself, owing to the prevailing belief that it was improper for women to participate in public exercises with men. The injustice was corrected thirty-six years later when Lucy Stone was an honored speaker at Oberlin's semicentennial jubilee. In 1850 she led in calling the first national woman's rights convention at Worcester, Massachusertts. Lucy Stone, who was only barely recovered from typhoid fever, made a speech that converted Susan B. Anthony to the cause. She married Henry Browne Blackwell, a Cincinnati hardware merchant and abolitionist in 1855 but kept her own name, calling herself Mrs. Stone and this radical action added the phrase "Lucy Stoner" to the language to denote a married woman retaining her maiden name. The birth of Alice Stone Blackwell in 1857 led Lucy Stone to give up some of her traveling and lecturing, but she continued to organize many campaigns for woman's suffrage. Perhaps Lucy Stone's greatest contribution was in founding and largely financing the weekly newspaper of the American Woman Suffrage Association, the Woman's Journal. During a run of forty-seven years, under the editorship of Lucy Stone, her husband Henry Blackwell and later Alice Stone Blackwell, the Woman's Journal more than any other journal was the voice of the woman's movement. After 1887 Lucy's voice failed, and she spoke only to small gatherings. Her last lectures were delivered at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. She died at her large mansion on Boutwell Street on Pope's Hill In Dorchester and her funeral was held at the Church of the Disciples in Boston's South End; she was cremated at the crematorium of the Massachusetts Cremation Society on Walk Hill Street, adjacent to Forest Hills Cemetery. Luncy Stone was the first person to be cremated in New England.

December 23, 2009

Temperance Reformer

Mary L. Hunt (1830-1906) was a leader of the campaign for temperance education in the schools, Mary Hunt came to Dorchester later in life having lived previously in Hyde Park. Temperance was a family tradition. Mrs. Hunt's father had been an officer in the county temperance society, and while helping her son study college chemistry, she herself became seriously interested in the physiological effects of alcohol. She quickly took the lead in the agitation for education. In 1878 with Julia Colman, she marched upon the board of the Hyde Park School Committee and won over its members. In 1879 she presented to the national convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union a plan calling for thorough textbook study of scientific temperance in the public schools. In 1886, largely owing to her effective campaigning, the federal government passed a law requiring temperance instruction in schools under federal control. By 1901 every state had passed legislation of this sort. Legislation alone proved inadequate, and Mrs. Hunt began a campaign to improve the textbooks, supervising the writing of several texts. In 1903 the Committee of Fifty, an alcohol study group composed of eminent scientists, economists, clergymen and educators, issued Physiological Aspects of the Liquor Problem which marshaled impressive testimony challenging statements in W.C.T.U.-approved books, questioning the wisdom of giving young children detailed information about alcoholism, and pointing out the dangers of allowing those committed to a doctrinaire position to control the teaching of a controversial subject. Mrs. Hunt published a Reply to the Physiological Sub-Committee of the Committee of Fifty, and through the efforts of a sympathetic Senator, this work was published as a government document with the circulation of 100,000 copies to members of the W.C.T.U. After her death in 1906, the W.C.T.U. gave up efforts to intervene in textbook writing. Some have suggested that a generation of students brought up on the textbooks approved by Mary Hunt resulted in the enactment of the Eighteenth Amendment. Yet the repeal of prohibition and the statistics on alcohol consumption after the years of her influence suggest that her campaign had only limited long-range effect.

December 21, 2009

The German Dialect Author "Yawcob Strauss"

Charles Follen Adams (1842-1918,) the son of Ira and Mary Elizabeth Senter Adams, was born in Dorchester and received a common school education, leaving the grammar school at fifteen years of age. He went as a boy into the well-known house of N.D. Whitney & Co., Boston, to learn the business. He was afterwards salesman in the same house, then went into business for himself with John D. Clapp, under the firm name of J.D. Clapp & Co. In 1872 he became a partner in the firm of Nicholson & Adams, hair goods for ladies’ wear, and later on made a change in business to that of furnishing supplies for the five, ten and twenty-five cent counters that have had such a phenomenal run—the firm name being Newell, Adams & Co. He sold out his interest January 1, 1885, and is now doing a manufacturing and commission, in addition to his journalistic work. At the age of twenty, August, 1862, he enlisted in the 13th regiment Massachusetts volunteers, and was in the battles of Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg—wounded in the latter and held prisoner for three days, when he was re-captured and taken to the hospitals in New York and Rhode Island. After his recovery he was detailed as wardmaster in the convalescent hospital at Washington, where he remained until his term of service expired, in August, 1864. He returned home and established the business that has since demanded his attention. The literary portion of his life is only his diversion, never interfering with his methodical business habits. Charles Follen Adams, however is best known from his humorous and dialectic poems, he having sprung into recognition at once upon the production of his well known and immensely popular “Leedle Yawcob Strauss.” His first effort at rhyme was written in 1870, and his first dialectic verse, “The Puzzled Dutchman,” appeared in 1872. From that time he was an occasional contributor to numerous Boston papers, “Oliver Optic’s Magazine,” “Scribner’s Monthly,” and others until 1876 when “Leedle Yawcob Strauss” appeared in the “Detroit Free Press,” since which time his poems have appeared in that paper, “Harper’s Magazine,” and other publications. The house of Lee & Shepard, published Mr. Adams’s first volume of poems, entitled “Leedle Yawcob Strauss, and Other Poems.” His second volume, entitled “Dialect Ballads,” was published by Harper & Brothers, New York (1887), being a companion to the former volume. Mr. Adams was married in 1870 to Hattie Louise Mills, and they were the parents of Charles Mills Adams and Ella Paige Adams Sawyer. The Adams Lot is on White Oak Avenue, a large granite block monument with a curious log-frame motif.

Alice Stone Blackwell

Alice Stone Blackwell (1857-1950) was the only child of Lucy Stone and Henry Brown Blackwell. She was educated at the Harris Grammar School in Dorchester, the Chauncy School in Boston at at Boston University. Alice described life in Dorchester from her perspective as a teenager in her journal published under the title Growing Up in Boston's Gilded Age: The Journal of Alice Stone Blackwell, 1872-1874. Catching the train at the Old Colony station at Neponset or at Harrison Square to ride into Boston to exchange books at the Boston Athenaeum or at the Boston Public Library. She would visit her mother at the office of the Woman's Journal at 3 Tremont Place. On Sundays she would go to church at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, then on Bowdoin Street, or at Saint Mary's Chapel, later the All Saints' Mission at Lower Mills. On school days, Alice would walk toward Harrison Square to attend the Harris School at the corner of Adams Street and Victory Road, formerly known as Mill Street. Her diary includes descriptions of her walks in the Dorchester countryside when it was still an area of large open spaces, and it was an era when people walked long distances or rode in a carriage pulled by horses. After her graduation from Boston University where she excelled and was president of her class, she went to work in the offices of the Woman's Journal, the paper edited by her mother. Over the next thirty-five years, Miss Blackwell bore the main burdens of editing the country's leading woman's rights newspaper, gathering copy, reading proof, preparing book reviews, and writing long columns of crisp, hard-headed arguments for female equality. Beginning in 1887 she also edited the Woman's Column, a collection of suffrage items sent out free to newspapers round the country. She effected a truce between the American Woman Suffrage Association and Susan B. Anthony's rival National Woman Suffrage Association. In 1890 the two organizations merged, and Miss Blackwell became recording secretary of the new national American Woman Suffrage Association. Lucy Stone's death in 1893 freed her daughter to find other evils to expose and underdogs to champion. For years she operated an informal employment service for needy Armenians, and she joined William Dudley Foulke and George Kennan in activating the Friends of Russian Freedom. She translated the poetry of oppressed peoples into English to widen American awareness. Alice also translated several other volumes of poetry into English from Russian (Songs of Russia, 1906), Yiddish (Songs of Grief and Gladness, 1907), Spanish (Some Spanish-American poets, 1929), Hungarian and French. In 1917 she edited The Little Grandmother of the Russian Revolution which is about the life of Catherine Breshkovsky. Her affiliations widened to include the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the Anti-Vivisection Society, the Women's Trade Union League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the American Peace Society. Postwar reaction turned her into a socialist radical. One Boston newspaper refused to print her militant letters because of the controversy they provoked. In 1930 she published Lucy Stone, a well received biography of her mother, and in 1945, she received an L.H.D. degree (Doctorate of Humanities) from Boston University in recognition of her work.

December 19, 2009

For Whom the Sumner Tunnel was Named

General William Hyslop Sumner (1780-1861) inherited Noddle’s Island through his mother and his greatest accomplishment was his effort to develop several islands in Boston Harbor. This undertaking created what is now known as East Boston. During the development, Sumner founded several companies, including the East Boston Company and The East Boston Lumber Company. In tribute to his tireless work for the development East Boston the Sumner Tunnel that runs under the Boston Harbor from East Boston to Boston bears his name. In Jamaica Plain Sumner Hill and in Cambridge, Sumner Street near Harvard University are also named for Sumner. The white Carrara marble monument on the Sumner Lot on Mount Warren Avenue was sculpted in Rome, Italy by Cantalamessa Papotti and was set on a natural outcropping of Roxbury puddingstone. Papotti’s angel is part of a long artistic tradition, as since the Renaissance they have represented messengers from God; they were, and still are, a popular cemetery motif. General Sumner’s monument was personalized on the base with a representation of a family crest, and on the front (now missing), in the circular medallion, a low-relief portrait of his profile.

Dr. Carleton and Carleton Willard Village

Dr. Elizabeth Abbott Carleton (1851-1925) was the founder of the New England Aid Society for the Aged and Friendless, later known as the Home for Aged Couples, the first of its kind in New England. Organized in January, 1883, and incorporated on May 20, 1884, the first home was opened in 1884 at 431 Shawmut Avenue in Boston's South End. Three couples were received in the home in 1884 and three more in 1885, reaching the limit of capacity of its former quarters. The beneficiaries of the home must be at least 60 years of age. The number of applicants is so great that the trustees are enabled to make careful selection, and preference is given to those over 70 years of age. Preference is given in receiving residents to those who have no children or other relatives who might care for them.
In an article from the Boston Daily Globe on May 30, 1887, it said that "Life in the institution is essentially life at home. The inmates are free to come and go, and receive visitors. So far as they are able to work about the place, the men in the garden and woodshed, the women in their rooms, sewing or caring in their husband in sickness. One inmate is blind and another paralyzed, but good health is the rule. Preaching services are held on the second and fourth Sundays in each month by pastors of various denominations, and services of song are held on the alternate Sundays. Musical entertainments are held from time to time in the afternoon. In the summer season horse car rides are occasionally given by the city mission, and harbor rides by the Young Men's Christian Association. The latter organization also sometimes provides carriage rides for invalids in the Home, and other similar provisions are made by the management of the institution. The inmates take their meals at the same table, visit each other in their rooms and stroll in company in Franklin Park or about the grounds of the home."

The home moved to the former mansion of Edward E. Rice at the corner of Seaver Street and Walnut Avenue in Roxbury, afterwhich a large building designed by John A. Fox was built. The Home for Aged Couples merged in the late twentieth century with the Willard Home and moved to Bedford, Massachusetts where is has since been known as Carleton Willard Village. Dr. Elizabeth Abbott Carleton was a resident of Union Park in Boston’s South End, and a beloved physician and friend to the elderly of the city. The former site in Roxbury is now a part of Rogerson Communities, a non-profit organization serving low-income and elderly men and women through housing, adult day health programs, fitness training, and memory loss care and treatment programs. The Carleton monument is on Oak Avenue, adjacent to that of the lot for the Home for Aged Couples.

December 18, 2009

He Who Hybridized the Clapp's Favorite Pear

Thaddeus Clapp (1811-1861) was the noted hybridizer of the "Clapp's Favorite" pear, a cross breeding of the "Bartlett" pear and the "Flemish Beauty" pear. From 1840 until his death Clapp was "celebrated among fruit growers for his theoretical and practical knoweledge, and obtained many premiums for choice varities and fine samples of fruit."
Born in Dorchester, the son of William Clapp (1779-1860) and Elizabeth Humphreys Clapp, he was educated at the academy of Hiram Manley before entering Harvard College, being graduated in 1834; he attained a distinguished rank with "the second honors of his class" and delivered the salutory oration in Latin. He was to receive his master of arts in 1838, and though he had taught at a private school in Brookline, his ill health precluded full time employment. During the 1840's he served as a member and secretary of the Dorchester School Committee (Dorchester remained an independent town from Boston until 1870.) In 1838 he served as tutor to the family of William T. Palfrey in Franklin, Louisiana thinking that the warm climate might be beneficial to his health. The Palfreys were from Boston, and were probably acquainted with his family, but he returned shortly therafter. He returned to his family home in 1840, a large Federal house built by his parents at 195 Boston Street and called the "Mansion House." His father was a well to do leather tanner with tanneries on his extensive estate that stretched back to South Bay and which had been in the family since the seventeenth century.
After his return to Dorchester, Thaddeus Clapp "engaged in horticultural and pomological persuits, which he continued until the winter of 1860." During that time he and his brothers Lemuel and Frederick Clapp hybridized many pear seedlings which were quite successful and the names of which were given to new streets that were cut through the former Clapp Estate; the new streets were named Mayhew, Mount Vernon, Harvest, Dorset and Bellflower to perpetuate the early hybrid pears, but it was his pear seedling "Clapp's Favorite" that became reknowned as it was an early ripening fruit, in an age when fresh fruit was thought to ensure continued good health. So successful was this pear seedling that the the Clapp's Favorite pear, was greatly desired by the Massachusetts Agricultural Club, which wished to name it after Marshall P. Wilder, and to disseminate it for general cultivation. They offered Mr. Clapp one thousand dollars for the control of it, but the offer was politely declined. For two decades Clapp continued his horticultural persuits and was an active member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Norfolk Agricultural Society. He was said to be of a "most amiable disposition and led a life of unspotted integrity. In 1873, over a decade after Clapp's death, the "Clapp's Favorite" pear was awarded the Wilder Medal in 1873; this medal is awarded to individuals or organizations for distinguished service and contributions to the advancement of pomological science and for outstanding fruit varieties.
When he died, his widow Mary H. Dustin Clapp buried him at Forest Hills Cemetery. His white marble headstone has a bas relief of the celebrated "Clapp's Favorite" pear and that of his wife a shorn sheaf of wheat.

December 17, 2009

Milton Hill

By the late nineteenth century the once open dells and valleys at Forest Hills Cemetery were being developed for both family lots as well as individual graves. With the purchase of "Milton Hill" from William F. Milton, the area was to be connected to Consecration Hill by an impressive stone bridge, designed by William Gibbons Preston, which arched over Greenwood Avenue. The area of Milton Hill was to be developed with large family lots in the first three decades of the twentieth century, and has a rich overlay of funereal monument styles, from Classical to Grecian, Egyptian and Romantic influenced designs which embraced the wide spectrum of available choices.

The early curvilinear avenues at Forest Hills Cemetery were to be augmented by new ones laid out connecting parts of the original cemetery to areas by Walk Hill and Canterbury Streets and west of the Field of Manoah. These new areas had a rich panoply of funereal stones, from colonial revival slate headstones to large limestone, marble and granite monuments often with angels, allegorical figures and classical urns, vases and other embellishments. The twentieth century also saw some spectacular mausoleums that were built throughout the cemetery, such as the Lufkin, Wilbur, Thym, Martyn, Hanley and Haste mausoleums.

Where there is sorrow there is Holy ground.
Oscar Wilde

December 16, 2009

Hunneman Fire Engines

William Cooper Hunneman (1769 –1856) was the founder of a fire engine company in Roxbury that was operated by three generations of the Hunneman Family. His monument at Forest Hills Cemetery is an open Bible set on a marble altar. Hunneman was a successful blacksmith, having learned the trade from Paul Revere; he opened a blacksmith shop in Boston and manufactured brass hardware for shipbuilding. However, in the mid nineteenth century he began to produce standard pumper fire engines, the only difference with others being the angle upon which the pistons operated. Many of the builders of the early fire engines purchased the pump and accessories from Hunneman & Company. To complete these new pumpers, a local cabinetmaker was engaged to build the “tub” which is formed from sheets of copper, and designed to hold water. From 1792 to 1883, three generations of the Hunneman Family were to produce 750 fire engines that were shipped to all parts of the world, and helped to fight fires.

December 15, 2009

e e cummings

Edward Estlin Cummings, more popularly known as ee cummings (1894-1962) was an important novelist and poet that not only captivated twentieth century readers with his evocative writing and poetry, but the fact that he created a distinctive lower case spelling of his name. One Cummings scholar believes that on the occasions Cummings signed his name in all lowercase letters, the poet may have intended it as a gesture of humility, and not as an indication that it was the preferred orthography for others to use for his name. A graduate of Harvard, Cummings was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, an autobiographical novel, four plays and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings. He is remembered as a preeminent voice of the poetry of the Twentieth Century as well as one of the most popular. His grave is on Althea Path, his great grandfather being John Jones Clarke, the first mayor of the city of Roxbury, and ironically does not record his name in the lower case spelling he extolled during his lifetime but as "Edward Estlin Cummings."
picker of buttercups
And the big bullying daisies
through the field wonderful
with eyes a little sorry
Another comes
also picking flowers

George Robert White

George Robert White (1847-1922) was one of Boston’s greatest benefactors. President of the Potter Drug and Chemical Corporation, one of the largest wholesale drug firms in the United States a century ago, White’s success was ensured by Cuticura Soap, which literally translated as skin care, and embodied some of the medicinal properties of an ointment that cured rashes in additing to cleansing. This soap was marketed throughout the world and made a fabulous fortune. Samuel McComb said of George White that “His helpful hand was always stretched out to assist the weak. He was devoted to the highest welfare of the city.” White had created the George Robert White Fund “to be used for creating works of public utility and beauty, for the use and enjoyment of the inhabitants of the City of Boston.” John Singer Sargent did this sketch of the philanthropist in 1917. The Angel of Peace was sculpted by Daniel Chester French and installed in 1905 on the White Lot on Magnolia Avenue. The angel stands majestically with clasped hands in a classically draped gown and robust outstretched wings. The landscaping was designed by the firm of Olmstead Brothers to enhance the sculpture. Another angel memorial for White, also sculpted by Daniel Chester French, was erected in 1924 in the Boston Public Garden, which depicted an angel casting bread upon the water. White Stadium in Franklin Park was named in his honor.

December 11, 2009

Let Us Emulate the Enlightened

As Henry A.S. Dearborn said in 1847 “Let us then emulate the enlightened and pious, the good and great, the affectionate and generous, the kind and the magnanimous of all other nations and ages, that were most distinguished for their advancement in civilization, and enable our fellow citizens to pay all possible respect and honor to the remains of those whom they loved and revered when living.” Thus, the rural cemetery was not just a link to nature, landscape design and horticulture, but also a link to architecture that embraced and enhanced the rural ideal, while serving a very necessary function. The buildings, gateways, fences and assorted structures erected at Forest Hills Cemetery were built for intended purposes, but their design and materials were reflective of Dearborn’s vision of integrating the ideal of romantic landscape design with symbolically appropriate architecture. The first thing seen by those arriving via Forest Hills Avenue was the gateway, originally a wood Egyptian Revival gateway that was replaced by a grander one of Roxbury puddingstone in 1865. This was an aesthetic experience and in some ways must have reassured mourners that this was a sacred place that was to embrace and offer a consoling garden sanctuary. Embracing the wooded landscape and the rough outcropping of Roxbury puddingstone rather than eliminating them, the cemetery evolved as a distinctive and unique interpretation of a rural cemetery.

Good buildings come from good people, and all problems are solved by good design
Stephen Gardiner

Rock Maple Avenue

Rock Maple Avenue, seen from the junction of Cedar and Tupelo Avenues, leads to White Oak Avenue and has terraced lots on the right with granite curbing and flights of stairs leading to the large family graves. These curbed lots, many replete with granite balusters and curbing, created a distinctively urban feel, almost recreating the urban residential streetscapes of Victorian Boston. The more flat and regular area on the left is a triangular area bounded by Cedar and Lake Avenues and the area were laid out with such names as Peony, Evergreen, Elder, Brook, Arethusa, Pyrola, Mimosa, Camellia and Veronica Paths.

December 9, 2009

Quincy Adams Shaw

Quincy Adams Shaw (1825-1908) was a major investor in the Calumet & Hecla Copper Mines with his brother-in-law Henry L. Higginson. The copper mining property had been prospected by Louis Agassiz, and his son Alexander Agassiz, who was developing it and which proved to be an immensely important prospect. Quincy Adams Shaw was a major art collector and donated numerous impressionistic paintings by Jean-Francois Millet, Corot’s Dante and Virgil, as well as Donatello’s the Madonna of the Clouds to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He and his wife Pauline Agassiz Shaw lived in a large mansion on Perkins Street in Jamaica Plain, fronting onto Jamaica Pond and summered in Prides Crossing on Boston's North Shore. He was the son of Robert Gould and Elizabeth Willard Parkman Shaw and was named after John Quincy Adams. He was graduated from Harvard in the class of 1845, and over the next few years he and Henry Lee Higginson, his brother in law, shared the tremendous efforts that were made before the Calumet & Hecla mine became a dividend payer; it is said that Mr. Shaw put in nearly all the money he had before this happened. He picked up all he could afford to buy, even when it was selling at $1 a share. However, it was a lucrative if speculative business and when he died the June 13, 1908 edition of the Boston Daily Globe said that "Quincy A. Shaw [was] the heaviest individual taxpayer in Massachusetts, the largest individual owner of Calumet & Hecla stock in the state, and the head of the family whose members in various ways have done much to promote the educational and commercial interests of Boston" and had the cumbersome title as the "Heaviest Individual Taxpayer in the State." In fact he was said to be the wealthiest man in New England upon his death. Shaw was buired in a large lot on Nesutan Avenue on Eliot Hill.

Twentieth Century Vista

This early twentieth century vista, looking south from Elm Avenue, shows the stone Canterbury Street Lodge (sometimes referred to as the Beech Avenue Chapel) in the center distance at the Canterbury Street gate. The open lands on the left were later to become St. Michael’s Cemetery, primarily an Italian Roman Catholic cemetery; to the left of the statue in the center can be seen the Edmund March Wheelwright (1854-1912) designed buildings of Austin Farm, the former property of Arthur Austin who is called the "Father of West Roxbury," and who successfully persuaded his neighbors to become an independent town known as West Roxbury in 1851. The property was later used as the Mattapan State Hospital and more recently as the Boston Nature Center of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. In the center is the statue monument on that grave of George B. Smith (1868-1949) and on the left, that of Nathan Sawyer (1819-1889.)

December 4, 2009

Marshall Pinckney Wilder (1798-1886) was a distinguished and well respected horticulturist. He had purchased the farm of Governor Increase Sumner and created an estate near Grove Hall in Dorchester, Massachusetts that was known as “Hawthorne Grove.” Throughout the mid nineteenth century he developed an extensive pear orchard that contained at one time 800 cultivars, and his Dorchester Nursery was among the first mail order businesses for plants, seeds and bulbs. Wilder served as the third president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, from 1840-1847, as well as president of the American Pomological Society, which since 1873 awards the "Wilder Medal" which is given to pomologists who have contributed most to the improvement of cultivars of various kinds of fruit in this country. Wilder was probably best known for hybrizing camellias and among them are the award winning Camellias Wilderi, Mrs. Abby Wilder, Mrs. Julia Wilder and the Jenny Wilder. From his estate in 1839 went to the Boston Public Garden the entire collection of greenhouse and garden plants.