November 20, 2010

Colonel Charles Barnard Fox

With the sensationalism garnered in the movie “Glory,” we reveled in the drama and impact of the Civil War however it also served to remind us of why that war was fought. The 54th Regiment, led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, was the first African American regiment formed in Massachusetts, yet few of us realize that the all black 55th Regiment was led by a Dorchester, Massachusetts resident. Charles Barnard Fox (1833-1895) was the son of the Reverend Thomas B. Fox, editor of the “Boston Transcript.” He had been born in Newburyport while his father had been minister of the Unitarian church in that town, but the family moved to Dorchester in 1845. Educated in the local schools, Fox studied, then entered the field of civil engineering. His brother, the noted architect John A. Fox, was also a civil engineer and considered the "Father of Stick Style" architecture in this country.

Fox had enlisted in the Civil War at Lyceum Hall on Dorchester's Meeting House Hill, which was the local recruiting office. He received his commission as Second Lieutenant in the Thirteenth Massachusetts Infantry; one year later he was made First Lieutenant. In 1863, he was transferred to the Second Massachusetts Cavalry, with the same rank. That same year he was made Major of the 55th Regiment, an African American regiment, being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on November 3, 1863. The 55th Regiment had been trained at Camp Meigs, and was composed of African American men who had everything at stake in the war. Fox, with his fellow officers, were well trained, and were to be commended for their service. In Fox’s obituary, it was quoted as saying that “It was abundantly shown in his long and meritorious service in the army during the civil war, and especially in his readiness to enter a branch of the service that was not regarded with favor even by many who in theory favored perfect equality between races, and which was not calculated to attract the young soldier powerfully, in comparison with the more popular and agreeable positions in white regiments. But Colonel Fox believed in the equality of the black men with the white, and whatever he believed he lived up to, and the relations which existed between him and the colored soldiers in his command were ever the most intimate and mutually regardful nature.”

Fox was reared in the Unitarian faith, and upon the family’s removal in 1845 to Dorchester, they became connected with the First Parish Church on Meeting House Hill. The minister was the Reverend Nathaniel Hall, a fierce anti-slavery opponent who expounded upon the evils of both slavery and the subjugation of blacks in the South. His sermons, many of which were published for a more general readership, were vociferous and pointed in his belief that slavery was immoral, and could only be abolished through the war. Thomas B. Fox was undoubtedly influenced by Hall, and by his own father’s opinion, which was quite often read in the daily editions of the “Boston Transcript.”

Charles Barnard Fox served in the Army of the Potomac until after the Battle of Fredericksburg, in the Siege of Charleston and in the Campaign in Florida, the Battle of Honey Hill being particularly gruesome. His record of bravery and courage was made known when he was made brevet Colonel of the 55th Regiment; he resigned his commission on June 25, 1865 at the end of the Civil War and decided to remain in the South. For three years after the war, Fox managed a cotton plantation on Sea Island off the coast of South Carolina, it was not until 1868 that he returned to Boston, becoming an inspector at the Boston Customs House. In partnership with his brother and his friends, he assisted in the establishment of Holbrook & Fox, a real estate and land auction house in Boston. It was his friend Silas Pinckney Holbrook and his brother John Andrews Fox who created the partnership. The firm of Holbrook & Fox was one of the leading firms of its kind in New England and was well respected for the development of the real estate market in the late 19th century. Fox married and built a home, designed by his architect brother, on Fuller Street in Dorchester. His connection with the development of the old farms and estates of Dorchester continued until his untimely death in 1895.

The contributions of Colonel Charles Barnard Fox in regards to the Civil War were important enough to have his convictions and personal beliefs supersede his comfort. He served his all black 55th Regiment well, and earned their respect with the title of colonel by brevet, and honor that few officers received for their service in the Civil War.
Colonel Thomas Barnard Fox is buried in the Fox Family Lot at Forest Hills Cemetery.

October 24, 2010

Pfaff Lager

One of the eight stops on our "FOOD" tour at Forest Hills Cemetery was that of the Pfaff Family, whose brewery was once a well known place at Roxbury Crossing. We enjoyed sampling delicious cider at the stops to the Pfaff Mausoleum, and learning that this was one of almost two dozen breweries along the Stony Brook in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

Henry J. Pfaff (1826-1893) was a well-known lager beer brewer whose brewery was active from 1857 to 1918, and was located in Roxbury at 1276 Columbus Avenue, the present site of Roxbury Community College. The abundant and crystal clear water from Stony Brook, along with artesian wells bubbling to the surface around Mission Hill, in addition to the affordable land after the City of Roxbury merged with Boston in 1868 made Pfaff’s one of the major brewers. With his brother, Pfaff established the H&J Pfaff Brewery that imparted a little bit of old Germany that created the demand for the new German type Lager beers.

The Pfaff Mausoleum was designed by Whitman & Howard and is an impressive Egyptian Revival granite mausoleum on a knoll overlooking Tupelo Avenue, and the impressive Receiving Tomb. The use of Egyptian Revival architecture for a memorial is something that was popular throughout the nineteenth century as it represented an ancient culture that was devoted to the afterlife and reverence for the dead.

September 16, 2010

FOOD at Forest Hills Cemetery

FOOD is the topic of an upcoming walking tour at Forest Hills Cemetery led by Anthony M. Sammarco on Sunday, October 17th at 2:00 PM. Watch the calendar of events for more information, or check this Blog for more details.
Don't miss this fun tour!

Among those who will be included on this tasteful walking tour are S.S. Pierce, Maria Parloa, Thaddeus Clapp, Samuel Downer, Henry Pfaff and Ruby Foo. This will be a special walk, discussing the many aspects of food with samples along the way. Samuel Stillman Pierce (1807-1880) (known as S.S. Pierce, pronounced Purse) was known as the purveyor of fancy goods and libations to Victorian Bostonians. Opening his store at the corner of Tremont and Court Streets in the old West End of Boston in 1831, he catered to the carriage trade and created a company that involved four generations of the Pierce Family in its successful operations. As a businessman, Pierce was said to be “a man of unflinching honesty and sterling integrity of character."
Maria Parloa (1843-1909) was an astute cooking instructor whose teaching methods were well received, and she opened Miss Parloa’s Cooking School on Tremont Street in Boston. This led to her teaching at the Boston Cooking School, which she is also credited with cofounding. Her partial ownership of the Ladies Home Journal magazine allowed her articles on food and its preparation to be read by women far and wide, and her cookbooks, beginning in 1878 with Camp Cookery, eventually numbered eleven, including Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book: A Guide to
and Cooking and Chocolate and Cocoa Recipes by Miss Parloa for the Walter Baker & Company.
Thaddeus Clapp (1811-1861) was the hybridizer of the Clapp Favorite pear, a cross between the Flemish Beauty and the Bartlett pears but an early ripening pear that was awarded a medal by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Clapp's white marble monument has a bas-relief of the pear carved upon it.
Samuel Downer was a noted hybridizer who achieved fame for the Downers Late cherry. He was proprietor of Downer's Landing in Hingham, an alcohol free family amusement park in the late nineteenth century, that had a boat leavin Boston for the landing throughout the summer.
Henry Pfaff (1826-1893) was a well-known lager beer brewer whose brewery was active from 1857 to 1918, and was located at 1276 Columbus Avenue, the present site of Roxbury Community College. The abundant and crystal clear water from Stony Brook, along with artesian wells bubbling to the surface around Mission Hill, in addition to the affordable land after the City of Roxbury merged with Boston in 1868 made Pfaff’s one of the major brewers. With his brother, Pfaff established the H&J Pfaff Brewery that imparted a little bit of old Germany that created the demand for the new German type Lager beers.
Ruby Foo (1904-1950) was proprietor of Ruby Foo's Den, a popular Hudson Street restaurant in Boston's Chinatown that was among the first to offer Chinese cuisine to Bostonians.
Jacob Wirth (1840-1892) was an immigrant from Kreuznach, Prussia who six years after he immigrated to America opened in 1868 his namesake Germanic beer-hall style restaurant on Stuart Street in Boston. Above the long mahogany bar has been the Latin motto “Suum Cuiqce” which literally translates “to each his own” and which aptly fits the character of this legendary restaurant. Jake Worth’s has long been known for its Sauerbraten and Weiner Schnitzel, and other German style foods, as well as a wide selection of beers for every taste.
Don't miss FOOD at Forest Hills Cemetery.

September 13, 2010

The Lucy Stone Chapel at Forest Hills Cemetery

The Massachusetts Cremation Society opened a crematorium on Walk Hill Street in 1893, and was financed by local cremation societies. The building was designed by local architect Ludvig Sandoe Ipsen (1840-1920) and built of Roxbury felsite in the classical style; an addition, designed by Thomas Fox and Edward Gale, was built in 1905 with a basement columbaria. The first cremation in New England took place here in 1893, and was that of Dorchester resident and women's rights advocate Lucy Stone.
In 1925, Forest Hills Cemetery acquired the crematory, and since that time has almost tripled its size.

The Lucy Stone Chapel, seen here, is the largest of the two chapels at the Forest Hills Cemetery Crematorium and was named in memory of Lucy Sone, wife of Henry Browne Blackell. Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was a leader of the national women's rights movement and referred to as "the morning star of the woman's rights movement." She was an organizer of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, the first Massachusetts woman to receive a college degree (Oberlin College in 1838,) the first married woman to keep her own name, and the founder and editor of the Women's Journal. However, she was the first person to be cremated in New England, which was at the Massachusetts Cremation Society, now the Forest Hills Crematorium, where her ashes are deposited in a large urn later co-mingled with those of her husband and daughter.

September 7, 2010

Miss Amelia Peabody

Amelia Peabody (1890–1984) was a noted sculptor, having studied with Bela Pratt and Edmund Tarbell. She was the daughter of Frank Everett Peabody, who was a partner of Kidder Peabody and Company, and she “created a life-long reputation in her own right, not only for her artistry, but also for her philanthropy, patronage of the arts, civic leadership, love of animals, and equestrian pursuits.”

Amelia Peabody owned Mill Farm on Dedham Street and Powisset Farm on Powisset Street with vast acreage of woodlands and fields between them. On her death she bequeathed Powisset Farm and most of the open land to the Trustees of Reservations, now Noanet Woodlands. An avid horsewoman in her younger days, she was also an accomplished sculptor. Her studio was at Mill Farm.

The Peabody lot at Forest Hills Cemetery is set in a dense grove of trees, and is marked by a huge Roxbury puddingstone boulder.

August 31, 2010

Peleg Tallman

The photo above is not that of Peleg Tallman. As a matter of fact this stone is not at Forest Hills Cemetery, either. [click on picture for better view]

Three reasons for showing this stone is that [1] the ship carved on it is the USS Trumball,
[2] Tallman served on board this ship in 1780 and [3] Mr. Tallman never sat for his portrait to be painted. His stone at Forest Hills is rather worn and I need something in this space to catch your attention.

This photo which I took is of the gravestone of Lt. Jabez Smith Jr. of the US Marines who died of injuries during fighting against a British ship on board the USS Trumball and he is buried at The Granary Burial Ground in Boston. During that same action Tallman was severely injured. More about that later.

First, let me make you aware that this will be one long post. So if you're up to it get a snack, a cup of tea, or, if you're not up to a long post, maybe, find something else to do.

All of that said let me tell you about Peleg Tallman. [Pronounced: Pell-leg, I think.]

Born in Tiverton, RI on July 24, 1764, his name Peleg was a popular one among pious people of that area. Taken from the Old Testament, Peleg was one of the two sons of Eber and it's meaning is a watercourse. Quite descriptive of one whose life would be so connected to the sea.

Peleg's mother died when he was just 8 years of age. Four years later his father, Peleg Sr., remarried and it would seem that he would never receive the Father of the Year Award. At the age of 12 Peleg Jr. was left to fend for himself. The year was 1776 and Peleg did what so many boys who had no trade did, he went to sea.

The American Navy was non-existent at this time so privateers began running out of American ports all along the East Coast to capture British ships [or at least try to]. Any ship that could carry a few guns made the attempt.

Peleg served on board one of these privateers the sloop Beaver and they were able to capture a few British merchant ships. He next served on board the privateer Rover which was captured by the 64 gun HMS Reasonable. Very reasonable to expect a 64 gun ship to capture a sloop, I guess. He along with his ship were taken into Halifax and he was obliged to serve on board British ships for some time. He managed to escape near Penobscot, Maine while with a work party on shore. He walked back to Boston. You must realize that this was a boy of about 14, at the time.

He was soon on board another privateer the Rattlesnake which, also, was outgunned. This time it would be 2 British men-of-war and they ran the Rattlesnake ashore. Peleg managed to jump overboard and escape. The ship was burned by the British. Again, walking and this time from New Jersey.
Peleg, reached New London where he went on board the USS Trumball. This ship was one of the first 6 ships built for the US Navy.
The year is, now, 1780 and unlike the privateers Trumball carried 28 guns. And our Peleg was a seasoned sailor who stood out among the "green" hands on board.
Trumball ran the British blockade of New London and on June 2nd spotted the British privateer Watt of 36 guns. In what has been described as the most intense sea battle of the Revolutionary War one that lasted for almost 3 hours, the American ship was not defeated. Didn't win but did leave the Watt a wreck floating away from the scene of battle. Trumball's main mast was shot away and she was unable to pursue the British ship.
Watt had 92 killed or wounded while Trumball had 39. Peleg Tallman was given command of the 2 after guns at the height of the battle and it was there that he was severely wounded.
Grapeshot [a type of shrapnel] was fired at Peleg's position and it tore his left arm off at the shoulder. How he survived the trip back to Boston is nothing short of a medical miracle but he did.
He was treated in Boston by Dr. Joseph Gardner and in 6 months Peleg was ready to go to sea, again.

On board a privateer of 16 guns which had no success in capturing British ships, Peleg returned to Boston and went on board another privateer of 20 guns. This ship, also, had no success at sea except to be captured by HMS Recovery.
Peleg and his crew-mates were taken to Kingsale, Ireland and "...hove into a loathsome prison...". Many months later they were transferred to Fortune prison in England and spent several months there until the peace in 1783. According to Peleg more than "...half of the prisoners died of smallpox and other disorders."

Years later Peleg Tallman wrote about his release... "The prison was cleared of its contents, and we were sent over to Havre, in France, and there landed naked as we were. We had no means of getting to America from there. I, with six others, walked through France, down to Nantz, I believe about 400 miles. We there got a passage on board a ship bound to Philadelphia, and there--pray, sir, look at my condition-- I was landed in the rags I stood in, without friends and only one arm, and knew not where to get a meal of victuals."
Peleg: "However, I made the best of my way to Boston and called on my old friend Dr. [Joseph
] Gardner...".
When Peleg returned from his imprisonment in 1783 the only one that he could turn to was the doctor. Dr. Gardner realized that Peleg was someone quite capable. So, before Peleg could have returned to sea the doctor sent him to Maine to check on the doctor's extensive property holdings there. This was in 1785 and thus began a relationship that would start this one armed young man on a career that led to his becoming one of the most successful men in Maine.

Dr. Gardner had a merchant ship built and put Peleg in as the Master. In this capacity he served for three years until the death of Dr. Gardner. He purchased half interest in the ship and continued as Master until 1791 when he sold his interest in it. For the next 8 years he commanded ships to India and other distant ports.
He had received a commission as Lieutenant in the US Navy and would have served on board the newly launched USS Constitution [Old Ironsides] if he had accepted it. But Peleg was happy where he was and returned it with his regrets.
That commission would be the only time that a seriously disabled private citizen was given such a position.

He married Eleanor Clarke on June 15, 1790 and their marriage would last 51 years. A sum of years extraordinary by most of today's standards. They settled in Bath, Maine on land Peleg bought from his father-in-law. This land fronted on the Kennebec River and he would build a wharf, there. He began his shipbuilding business across from his home on Front Street [now Oak Street]. He would, eventually, own a fleet of 18 vessels. Bath, ME in the 19th century was producing more wooden ships than any other city in the world. At one time there were 40 ships under construction, along the Kennebec River.
The home was torn down in the early 20th century and the land is, now, a public park.

By 1801 Peleg Tallman was involved in politics in the Democratic Party. In served in the Massachusetts Legislature in the years 1801 through 1807. At that time Maine was a part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and would remain so until 1820.
He went on to represent the Lincoln District of Maine in the 12th Congress in Washington from 1811-1813.
Like many in New England he was opposed to the war with England in 1812. Like so many wars the one in 1812 was not only wrong-headed but dumb. Granted that most merchants in the area opposed war with England because it would [and did] destroy their shipping business.
I've been sitting, here, at the keyboard for awhile wondering if I should go off on a rant about the war many believe the 1812 Overture was written for. Well, they play it at the fireworks at the Fourth of July concert on the Esplanade, don't they?
OK, OK, I'll spare you that one for another time.

Well, speaking of July 4th, in 1831 Bath, ME celebrated the day and Peleg Tallman hosted a grand banquet on his property. A few veterans of the Revolutionary War were in attendance and Peleg was proclaimed as " who has bled for his country."
Wealthy and generous, owning property in Maine, Boston, and Rhode Island, Peleg was "..not known to be a man of piety..". He did give generously to several area churches, though. His wife, Eleanor, who lies beside him at Forest Hills was pious to a fault. Many "religious" and missionary organizations were always buzzing around this wife of a very wealthy man for donations. She gave without Peleg's knowing, most of the times.
In his will he forbade any of his money being used for such causes. Somehow, though, Eleanor managed to continue giving. There is an account of one "religious" outfit who Eleanor hired to supply her with a few gold watches as gifts for her grandchildren. She paid for gold and got brass.
I feel that to emphasize her beliefs I should quote from a letter that she wrote to Peleg in 1836. "Could I but see you making any preparation for that world to which we are fast hastening, how it would rejoice my heart."
There is no reply, extant, but his love for Eleanor would cause him to save the letter.

Years at sea and many in command of ships along with his difficult, early history had made Peleg somewhat "..rough and tyrannical..". He was not without compassion as his personnel account books attest. Many are the entries for individuals and families who were generously assisted by him.

Peleg remained active to the end of his life. Six weeks after making his last entry in his cash account book, he died at the age of 76 on the 8th of March, 1841.

I should begin wrapping this post up, now. But a few items that need mentioning need to be mentioned.
One of his daughters married into the Gardiner [not Gardner, as in Dr. Joseph Gardner] of Gardiner, Maine and members of that family are next to Tallman. I began this search for information on that family and discovered Peleg Tallman. Asphodel Path is where you will find the Tallmans. Their part of the lot [it's all one lot] is overshadowed by the Gardiner monument, so look for that one. To find Asphodel Path find Mount Warren, first. On the right of the Warren lot [large puddingstone boulder] you will find a set of stairs, down, to the first terracing. The steps are rustic which means watch your step. At the bottom turn to the right and on the left you'll see the Gardiner monument.

The Tallmans were buried, originally in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Bath. His daughter, Caroline Gardiner, made the decision to move them to Forest Hills Cemetery in November of 1865 to the recently purchased Gardiner lot.
Many of the "Residents" of Forest Hills have been moved, some many times. I might do a posting on that issue, alone, in the future.

I have tried to do justice to the life of this courageous, brave, intelligent man but there is so much more to him. My words and ramblings, I hope, will lead some to look for more on Peleg Tallman. Again, I believe, the proper pronunciation is: Pell-leg. Any who know of a different pronunciation please inform this writer.
More information is available through, at least, 2 privately printed pieces of Peleg Tallman. One is by William M. Emery printed in 1935: "Honorable Peleg Tallman-1764-1841". This available at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society's website: The other is by Walter Henry Sturtevant in 1899: "Sailor of the Revolution,Master Mariner and Member of Congress." read before the Maine Historical Society on March 31st, 1899: This link takes you to the Archive site. For some reason it will not take you to the Tallman piece. If I was a real blogger I could make the link work. You have to remember I'm just some guy with a computer who has some information about Forest Hills Cemetery.

One more! Asphodel Path is named for a flower [as all the paths are named] that was used by the ancients for plantings by the tombs of loved ones. Some believed that the dead preferred the Asphodel as food. Strange. Maybe, just the roots, I don't know.
This is a description of what the flower looks like: I couldn't find a good site to link to for a picture. You can find a picture online , though.

Please inform your not so humble writer if any of the links do not work or you have any other concerns.

Thanks for staying with this. Any who have been out with me on the grounds of Forest Hills on a hot Sunday afternoon tour know that I love to share what I have discovered.
We have so many more interesting "Residents" at the "Ol' Boneyard" that are not known as well as the Top Forty you always hear or read about. I will try to inform you on as many of these as I can in the near future.... Your Boston Correspondent, Al Maze.

August 23, 2010

Summer Discoveries: Storytelling

The Summer Discoveries visits from Boston area summer camps have ended at Forest Hills. For the last seven weeks we have enjoyed introducing children aged 5 to 14 to the cemetery’s history, discussed contemporary art placed here and joined them in reveling in the beauty of being outdoors. We thank our students for sharing their thoughts and feelings; for making connections and imagining interpretations that enlivened our discussions. Recognizing our students’ interest in storytelling, in the last weeks of our program we started teaching a tour in which we talk about fiction writers, journalists, poets and painters.

Book imagery abounds in the cemetery: sculpted in stone, they lie atop gravestones, some are closed, some open; many remind of the Bible, others look like children’s story books. One mausoleum along our route even has a stained-glass window featuring an open book which our students always find particularly impressive.
Further along the way, we visit e.e. cummings’ unassuming final resting place and then cross the street to see his memorial “Opening”, made in 2002 by Mitch Ryerson. Hidden inside the hollowed-out tree is a book of cummings’ poems, which our students discover with delight. We take time to sit in the shade of a tree and read some of these poems and discuss what we understand them to be about. Other stops along out way provide further jumping-off points for discussion about how stories are a reflection of history, what they may mean, how they relate to our own experiences, and how they make us feel.

Here is a map so you can walk the tour, too:

At the end of our tour we settle down next to the gravestone of a Bostonian dry-goods seller who, in his spare time, wrote popular stories in the dialect spoken by the many German immigrants of the 19th century. Here, children learn how to bind books – we use a lightweight card stock for the cover and fold white printing paper for pages. Cover and pages are tied together with colorful ribbon threaded through holes punched at the spine. After constructing their own book, our students have decorated the cover and filled the pages with drawings, leaf collections, collages, written stories and their own poetry.

August 19, 2010

Summer Discoveries: Home and Family Tour

The idea of family and home is central to the design and conception of Forest Hills. Much of the cemetery is divided into family plots and many tombstones are marked with familiar relationships: “father,” “mother,” “brother,” “sister.” Many families created homes here either through marking family plots with stairs and stone railings or building house-like mausoleums.

Talking about home and families helps make cemetery history accessible to children, and they easily pick up the introduced concepts. They want to know about the relationships between those buried here and are eager to make connections and parallels between these stories and their own family life. Our students excitedly point out family plots as soon as they learn how to recognize them. They love to peek inside the mausoleums that dot our tour, especially when there is a beautiful stained glass window to discover. We talk about how mausoleums are like homes but very grand ones made out of stone and fine materials. Many of the contemporary sculptures also emphasize family. The children are always intrigued by Nightshirts, which represents a Victorian family. We also look at Christopher Frost’s Neighbors on the hillside on the way to the lake. We talk about the cemetery as a neighborhood that echoes the city.

Here is a map of the tour so you can walk it, too:

The children process these ideas by making books shaped like houses. Each child is free to draw his or her own idea of home, so each one is individual. These are then cut out and pages and a back cover cut in the same shape are added. Many of the children want to draw something based on one of the mausoleums they have seen.

August 18, 2010

Frank L. Young

Frank L. Young (1852-1937) was the head of the Frank L. Young Oil Company in South Boston, which was "believed to be the largest oil manufacturing house in the United States" in the early twentieth century.
It was said that "he exemplifies as perfectly as any businessman in Boston that type of strong, self-reliant character which surmounts all obstacles, and with no aid from external sources... achieves a most remarkable and thoroughly deserved success."
Young lived in a magnificent Colonial Revival mansion designed by the noted architect Edwin J. Lewis, Jr. at 294 Ashmont Stret in Dorchester, between Adnac Terrace and the Cavalry Baptist Church. The Young Lot at Forest Hills Cemetery is on Milton Hill.

August 17, 2010

Edmund Pitt Tileston

Edmund Pitt Tileston was the son one of the foremost businessmen in Dorchester in the nineteenth century. His father was the partner and brother-in-law of Mark Hollingsworth, and they were the owners of the Tileston & Hollingsworth Paper Company that was located at the Upper Falls (Mattapan) on the Neponset River. This paper mill was successor to the Boies & Mc Lean Paper Company and would survive into the twentieth century.

Edmund Pitt Tileston (1805-1873) was the son of Edmund and Ann Minns Tileston, and was born in Dorchester. He attended Milton Academy, was privately tutored by Reverend Joseph Allen in Northampton and was later fitted at Lancaster Academy. He entered his father's mill and was in 1831 to become a member of the firm of Tileston & Hollingsworth and a after 1835, president of this successful paper concern. It was said of Tileston that "as a businessman he was systematic, prompt and effective."

His first wife was Sarah Mc Lean Boies, and his second wife Helen Franklin Cummins, both well connected to prominent Dorchester families. He was also a partner in the well known publishing firm of Brewer & Tileston. Tileston served as a member of the Executive Council of Massachusetts during 1846 and 1847 under Governor George Nixon Briggs. He served as a founder and first president of the Dorchester Antiauarian and Historical Society, which was founded in 1843, for thirty years and he was a member of the committee to design a seal for the town of Dorchester.

Tileston lived in a large mansion near Four Corners, the corner of Washington and Dakota Streets, where it overlooked Dorchester Bay and Boston Harbor. He was buried at his family lot at Forest Hills Cemetery in 1873.

August 16, 2010

Dr. Joseph Warren & The Suffolk Resolves

Seen on the left in a bronze statue at the Roxbury Latin School and in a portrait on the right in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Dr. Joseph Warren (1741-1775) was a graduate of the Roxbury Latin School and Harvard, and was a noted and well respected physician. Author of the “Suffolk Resolves,” which were a list of grievances against King George III and carried by Paul Revere to Philadelphia (see below,) Dr. Warren was an ardent patriot and Son of Liberty. During the Revolution, Warren was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and his remains were eventually to be moved three times before finally coming to rest in this lot, which had purchased by his nephew in 1852.

The Warren Family Lot at Forest Hills Cemetery surmounts Mount Warren and is marked by a huge boulder of Roxbury puddingstone against which are arranged the slate headstones of various members of the Warren Family who were reinterred here from the Eustis Street Burying Ground in Roxbury. The Warren Family continued to use this large lot well into the twentieth century, with Colonial Revival slate headstones echoing those of the late eighteenth century.
The Suffolk Resolves was written by Dr. Joseph Warren, and at a meeting of the delegates of every town & district in the county of Suffolk, on Tuesday the 6th of September, 1774 at the house of Mr. Richard Woodward, of Deadham, & by adjournment, at the house of Mr. Daniel Vose, of Milton Village, on Friday the 9th instant, Joseph Palmer, Esq. being chosen moderator, and William Thompson, Esq. clerk, a committee was chosen to bring in a report to the convention, and the following being several times read, and put paragraph by paragraph, was unanimously voted, viz. Whereas the power but not the justice, the vengeance but not the wisdom of Great-Britain, which of old persecuted, scourged, and exiled our fugitive parents from their native shores, now pursues us, their guiltless children, with unrelenting severity: And whereas, this, then savage and uncultivated desart, was purchased by the toil and treasure, or acquired by the blood and valor of those our venerable progenitors; to us they bequeathed the dearbought inheritance, to our care and protection they consigned it, and the most sacred obligations are upon us to transmit the glorious purchase, unfettered by power, unclogged with shackles, to our innocent and beloved offspring. On the fortitude, on the wisdom and on the exertions of this important day, is suspended the fate of this new world, and of unborn millions. If a boundless extent of continent, swarming with millions, will tamely submit to live, move and have their being at the arbitrary will of a licentious minister, they basely yield to voluntary slavery, and future generations shall load their memories with incessant execrations.--On the other hand, if we arrest the hand which would ransack our pockets, if we disarm the parricide which points the dagger to our bosoms, if we nobly defeat that fatal edict which proclaims a power to frame laws for us in all cases whatsoever, thereby entailing the endless and numberless curses of slavery upon us, our heirs and their heirs forever; if we successfully resist that unparalleled usurpation of unconstitutional power, whereby our capital is robbed of the means of life; whereby the streets of Boston are thronged with military executioners; whereby our coasts are lined and harbours crouded with ships of war; whereby the charter of the colony, that sacred barrier against the encroachments of tyranny, is mutilated and, in effect, annihilated; whereby a murderous law is framed to shelter villains from the hands of justice; whereby the unalienable and inestimable inheritance, which we derived from nature, the constitution of Britain, and the privileges warranted to us in the charter of the province, is totally wrecked, annulled, and vacated, posterity will acknowledge that virtue which preserved them free and happy; and while we enjoy the rewards and blessings of the faithful, the torrent of panegyrists will roll our reputations to that latest period, when the streams of time shall be absorbed in the abyss of eternity.
Therefore, we as members of the delegation adopting the Suffolk Resolves have resolved, and do resolve:
1. That whereas his majesty, George the Third, is the rightful successor to the throne of Great-Britain, and justly entitled to the allegiance of the British realm, and agreeable to compact, of the English colonies in America--therefore, we, the heirs and successors of the first planters of this colony, do cheerfully acknowledge the said George the Third to be our rightful sovereign, and that said covenant is the tenure and claim on which are founded our allegiance and submission.
2. That it is an indispensable duty which we owe to God, our country, ourselves andposterity, by all lawful ways and means in our power to maintain, defend and preserve those civil and religious rights and liberties, for which many of our fathers fought, bled and died, and to hand them down entire to future generations.
3. That the late acts of the British parliament for blocking up the harbour of Boston, for altering the established form of government in this colony, and for screening the most flagitious violators of the laws of the province from a legal trial, are gross infractions of those rights to which we are justly entitled by the lasws laws of nature, the British constitution, and the charter of the province.
4. That no obedience is due from this province to either or any part of the acts above-mentioned, but that they be rejected as the attempts of a wicked administration to enslave America.
5. That so long as the justices of our superior court of judicature, court of assize, &c. and inferior court of common pleas in this county are appointed, or hold their places, by any other tenure than that which the charter and the laws of the province direct, they must be considered as under undue influence, and are therefore unconstitutional officers, and, as such, no regard ought to be paid to them by the people of this county.
6. That if the justices of the superior court of judicature, assize, &c. justices of the court of common pleas, or of the general sessions of the peace, shall sit and act during their present disqualified state, this county will support, and bear harmless, all sheriffs and their deputies, constables, jurors and other officers who shall refuse to carry into execution the orders of said courts; and, as far as possible, to prevent the many inconveniencies which must be occasioned by a suspension of the courts of justice, we do most earnestly recommend it to all creditors, that they shew all reasonable and even generous forbearance to their debtors; and to all debtors, to pay their just debts with all possible speed, and if any disputes relative to debts or trespasses shall arise, which cannot be settled by the parties, we recommend it to them to submit all such causes to arbitration; and it is our opinion that the contending parties or either of them, who shall refuse so to do, onght to be considered as co-operating with the enemies of this country.
7. That it be recommended to the collectors of taxes, constables and all other officers, who have public monies in their hands, to retain the same, and not to make any payment thereof to the provincial county treasurer until the civil government of the province is placed upon a constitutional foundation, or until it shall otherwise be ordered by the proposed provincial Congress.
8. That the persons who have accepted seats at the council board, by virtue of a mandamus from the King, in conformity to the late act of the British parliament, entitled, an act for the regulating the government of the Massachusetts-Bay, have acted in direct violation of the duty they owe to their country, and have thereby given great and just offence to this people; therefore, resolved, that this county do recommend it to all persons, who have so highly offended by accepting said departments, and have not already publicly resigned their seats at the council board, to make public resignations oftheir places at said board, on or before the 20th day of this instant, September; and that all persons refusing so to do, shall, from and after said day, be considered by this county as obstinate and incorrigible enemies to this country.
9. That the fortifications begun and now carrying on upon Boston Neck, are justly alarming to this county, and gives us reason to apprehend some hostile intention against that town, more especially as the commander in chief has, in a very extraordinary manner, removed the powder from the magazine at Charlestown, and has also forhidden the keeper of the magazine at Boston, to deliver out to the owners, the powder, which they had lodged in said magazine.
10. That the late act of parliament for establishing the Roman Catholic religion and the French laws in that extensive country, now called Canada, is dangerous in an extreme degree to the Protestant religion and to the civil rights and liberties of all America; and, therefore, as men and Protestant Christians, we are indispensubly obliged to take all proper measures for our security.
11. That whereas our enemies have flattered themselves that they shall make an easy prey of this numerous, brave and hardy people, from an apprehension that they are unacquainted with military discipline; we, therefore, for the honour, defence and security of this county and province, advise, as it has been recommended to take away all commissions from the officers of the militia, that those who now hold commissions, or such other persons, be elected in each town as officers in the militia, as shall be judged of sufficient capacity for that purpose, and who have evidenced themselves the inflexible friends to the rights of the people; and that the inhabitants of those towns and districts, who are qualified, do use their utmost diligence to acquaint themselves with the art of war as soon as possible, and do, for that purpose, appear under arms at least once every week.
12. That during the present hostile appearances on the part of Great-Britain, notwithstanding the many insults and oppressions which we most sensibly resent, yet, nevertheless, from our affection to his majesty, which we have at all times evidenced, we are determined to act merely upon the defensive, so long as such conduct may be vindicated by reason and the principles of self-preservation, but no longer.
13. That, as we understand it has been in contemplation to apprehend sundry persons of this county, who have rendered themselves conspicuous in contending for the violated rights and liberties of their countrymen; we do recommend, should such an audacious measure be put in practice, to seize and keep in safe custody, every servant of the present tyrannical and unconstitutional government throughout the county and province, until the persons so apprehended be liberated from the bands of our adversaries, and restored safe and uninjured to their respective friends and families.
14. That until our rights are fully restored to us, we will, to the utmost of our power, and we recommend the same to the other counties, to withhold all commercial intercourse with Great-Britain, Ireland, and the West-Indies, and abstain from the consumption ofBritish merchandise and manufactures, and especially of East-Indies, and piece goods, with such additions, alterations, and exceptions only, as the General Congress of the colonies may agree to.
15. That under our present circumstances, it is incumbent on us to encourage arts and manufactures amongst us, by all means in our power, and that be and are hereby appointed a committee, to consider of the best ways and means to promote and establish the same, and to report to this convention as soon as may be.
16. That the exigencies of our public affairs, demand that a provincial Congress be called to consult such measures as may be adopted, and vigorously executed by the whole people; and we do recommend it to the several towns in this county, to chuse members for such a provincial Congress, to be holden at Concord, on the second Tuesday of October, next ensuing.
17. That this county, confiding in the wisdom and integrity of the continental Congress, now sitting at Philadelphia , pay all due respect and submission to such measures as may be recommended by them to the colonies, for the restoration and establishment of our just rights, civil and religious, and for renewing that harmony and union between Great-Britain and the colonies, so earnestly wished for by all good men.
18. That whereas the universal uneasiness which prevails among all orders of men, arising from the wicked and oppressive measures of the present administration, may influence some unthinking persons to commit outrage upon private property; we would heartily recommend to all persons of this community, not to engage in any routs, riots, or licentious attacks upon the properties of any person whatsoever, as being subversive of all order and government; but, by a steady, manly, uniform, and persevering opposition, to convince our enemies, that in a contest so important, in a cause so solemn, our conduct shall be such as to merit the approbation of the wise, and the admiration of the brave and free of every age and of every country.
19. That should our enemies, by any sudden manoeuvres, render it necessary to ask the aid and assistance of our brethren in the country, some one of the committee of correspondence, or a select man of such town, or the town adjoining, where such hostilities shall commence, or shall be expected to commence, shall despatch couriers with written messages to the select men, or committees of correspondence, of the several towns in the vicinity, with a written account of such matter, who shall despatch others to committees more remote, until proper and sufficient assistance be obtained, and that the expense of said couriers be defrayed by the county, until proper and sufficient assistance be obtained, and that the expense of said couriers be defrayed by the county, until it shall be otherwise ordered by the provincial Congress.

Mary Hunt~ Temperance Reformer

Mary Hunt was a noted American Temperance Reformer and Educator. She lived both in the town of Hyde Park and near Upham's Corner in Dorchester and was recognized during her lifetime for her contributions to the awareness of alcohol temperance and education in the public schools.
Mary Hannah Hanchett Hunt (1830-1906) was born in South Canaan, Litchfield County, Connecticut as was the daughter of Ephriam and Nancy Swift Hanchett. Her father was an ardent abolitionist, and operated an ironworks in Salisbury, Connecticut. Hanchett was the vice president of the first temperance society in the United States. Educated in the local schools, Mary Hanchett taught at a country school for a year after her graduation before entering in 1847 Amenia Seminary in New York; a year later she entered the Patapsco Female Institute, an elegant finishing school in Baltimore, Maryland. Following her graduation, she became a professor of natural sciences at Patapsco, during which time she began her lifetime study of the physiological effects of alcohol on the body and mind.
In 1852 she married widower Leander B. Hunt, a salesman and steel agent, and they moved to the new town of Hyde Park, Massachusetts that had been incorporated in 1868 from sections of the towns of Dorchester, Milton and Dedham. The Hunts built a large, imposing house on Central Avenue, just north of Everett Square and here they raised their family. During this time, the Hunts belonged to the First Congregational Church in Hyde Park, and through the persuasion of her minister Mary Hunt became active in the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union (the WCTU) where she applied her long held belief that the "real nature and effects of alcohol upon the mind and body needed to be taught to children.... [and] that instruction in the negative effects of alcohol to children should not be optional, but mandatory."
During the last decades of the ninteenth century Mary Hunt oversaw a new public school carriculum on hygene in which there was a section on the evils of alcohol. Her quest was to educate but to also make the evils of alcohol aware even to children. She said that her goal was to produce "from the schoolhouses all over the land... trained haters of alcohol to pour a whole Niagra of ballots upon the saloon."
The Eighteenth Amendment is often traced back to the influence that Mary Hunt had on schoolchildren. Though Mary Hunt died before its enactment in 1920, her life work helped bring into law the prohibition of the manufacturing, sale and consumption of alcohol in the United States which lasted from 1920 to 1933.

August 13, 2010

Rear Admiral John Ancrum Winslow

Rear Admiral John Ancrum Winslow (1811-1873) is buried in a large lot at Forest Hills Cemetery with a huge boulder in the center of the lot, which was donated by the citizens of Warner, New Hampsire in memory of their hero.
Winslow had entered the United States Navy as a midshipman in 1827 and progressively was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 1839 and commander in 1855. During the Mexican War, he was commended for gallantry for his activities at Tobasco. In 1864, he led troops to victory in one of the Civil War's most notable naval actions, the battle between the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama. The Alabama was sunk in the 1864 Civil War sea battle, and Rear Admiral Winslow was to be decorated by President Abraham Lincoln.
In retirement the Winslow Family lived on Kearsarge Avenue in Roxbury, just off Warren Street and opposite the Roxbury Latin School that had been there until its move to West Roxbury in the 1920s. This decorated Civil War hero is one of many soldiers and sailors buried at Forest Hills Cemetery who valiantly and courageously faught to preserve the Union of the United States.

Summer Discoveries: Exploring Identity

Through the Forest Hills Summer Discoveries Program, we welcome 8 visiting summer camp groups every week for a 2-hour field trip. Two Summer Discovery teachers lead tours that explore the many roles of Forest Hills: It is an inviting park that is home to many animals - a landscape that features hills, lakes, exotic and local trees, old wild forest and carefully maintained plantings. Forest Hills is, of course, also a cemetery full of stories and histories; a place that can lead us to remember, reflect and discuss. Finally, Forest Hills is an outdoor museum featuring both Victorian and contemporary sculpture that has been thoughtfully placed to become part of this historical and natural environment.

A tour we have taken with several of the older Summer Discoveries groups explores identity and self-presentation. Walking from a ship captain’s memorial that shows his best sailing ship in relief to a delicate life-size portrait sculpture of a little girl to a thought-provoking civil war monument, we investigate how these representations provide us with clues about the individuality of each person memorialized. We ask ourselves how and why these descriptions of personality and identity are a reflection of the time these people lived in.

Here is a map so you can walk the tour, too:

Through our art activity, we think about how we ourselves are shaped by our history, our environment; we try to express what it is that makes each of us unique. By decorating and filling cardboard “time capsules”, we can imagine we are leaving information about ourselves for people to see in 100 years. Like the Victorian Bostonians who designed memorials for their families, we aim to capture an eternally readable image of who we are, what we are like, who we love, what we believe.

Some students wrote letters and made small books, others built wooden planes, cars, and structures; they drew pictures and made sculptures of themselves, their friends and their family, and several children dedicated their time capsules to people that are important to them.

The walking tour last evening at Forest Hills Cemetery was wonderful, with a very large attendance, many of whom had never been to the cemetery before. In fact, there were seven dogs that also attended, and all agreed that it was a resounding success and enjoyed by all.
This walking tour was on Milton Hill and among the "permanent residents" that were included were William Milton, whose farm in Jamaica Plain was incorporated into the cemetery and laid out as "Milton Hill," which attracted families that purchased large lots. Among those included were William Alfred Paine (1855-1929) (seen on the left,) co founder with Wallace Webber of Paine Webber and whose exedra monument was designed by Tiffany Studios. The tour also included Eben Dyer Jordan (1822-1895) of Jordan Marsh & Company fame, whose monument is a large cenotaph; Pietro Paulo Caproni (1862-1928) who was owner of Caproni & Brother, which brought plaster casts to an art form; George Robert White (1847-1922) whose Cuticura soap sales provided the financing for the George Robert White Fund. These are only a few of the people discussed on this tour, but it was a lovely balmy evening enjoyed by all. Plan on joining us on an upcoming tour!

August 12, 2010

Library of Life Twilight Tour

Join me this evening at 7:00 PM for a special walking tour on
"A Library of Life Stories" which is part of the August Twilight Tour series of Forest Hills Cemetery that is sponsored by the Forest Hills Educational Trust.

This tour will include not just the bucolic rural cemetery that was founded in 1848 and laid out by Henry A.S. Dearborn, first president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and mayor of the city of Roxbury, but also a select group of "permanent residents" of Forest Hills Cemetery that add to the rich layers of Boston history.
Among the graves to be visited are those of Fanny Lily Gypsy Davenport, a legendary 19th century actress, Samuel Reed, owner of some of the fastest clipper ships of the 19th century, the Perkins Family, whose mansion "Pinebank" was a Jamaica Plain landmark, Governor Alexander Rice, a politician and papermaker, and Alonzo Ames Miner, a Universalist minister and president of Tufts University.
Bring a flahlight and $10.00 for an enjoyable and fascinating tour!

August 5, 2010

Summer Discoveries: Animals Tour

We have been having a wonderful summer in the Summer Discoveries program. So far we have served about 500 kids from summer programs in and around Boston. Trips include a walking tour and then an art project. One of our favorite tours is a tour that focuses on animals. While walking through the cemetery, we talk about how Victorian Bostonians used animals on tombstones as guardians and to show who they were. In addition, we look at contemporary art. At Opening, shown above, we talk about animal homes inside of trees. The kids also love discovering animals that live here. We have seen big bullfrogs sitting with their heads above water and also little turtles swimming in and out of the lily pads. They love seeing birds, too, such as cardinals, blue jays, and even, on occasion, a hawk.

Here is a map so you can walk the tour, too:

At the end of the tour we create guardian animal lamps. Kids cover clear cups with colorful tissue paper and then cut out construction paper animals to glue on top. When a small electric tea light is placed inside, the animal shapes stand out against the tissue paper.

July 27, 2010

William Dawes Jr.... mostly unknown and mostly misplaced.

The photo on the right, [click on picture for enlargement] taken from the internment book at Forest Hills Cemetery, should settle the case of where William Dawes, Jr. [1745-1799] is buried.

This was hand written in 1882 when tomb #131 at the Central Burying Ground was emptied and the persons buried within where removed to Forest Hills Cemetery. Proof that Dawes, his wife Mehitable May, and 15 others of the May family made their journey from the Boston Common graveyard seems not enough.

But let me backup a little at this point.

Some may ask who the heck is William Dawes, Jr.? The answer would be that Dawes made a ride the same night as Paul Revere's well known ride on the 18th of April, 1775, on the same mission, and sent by the same person [Forest Hills' own Joseph Warren]. He, also, began his ride before Revere and went by way of Roxbury Neck [the only land route in or out of Boston, at that time].

Joseph Warren headed the Boston Committee of Safety which was instituted to keep watch on the activities of the occupying British forces. Overheard conversations of British officers and soldiers indicated that they, very soon, where planning to move their forces into the countryside. The colonists had begun stockpiling ammunition and weapons for a coming confrontation with a steadily growing belligerent British army. Besides capturing the arms, British forces wanted to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock, then in Concord. These two important leaders of the colonists would then be transported to England to be tried for treason. We can be sure that they would have been found guilty and, also, be sure that they would not have received probation and a warning.

William Dawes was an important member of the Sons of Liberty. Earlier he had smuggled two brass cannons out of Boston without the British commander's knowledge. He would, also, pretend to have drank too much and be passed out at a tavern where British soldiers where drinking. He would then listen to their conversations for any military information that would be useful to the Committee of Safety. His ability to leave Boston, to begin his ride to Concord, when Boston was being sealed off to prevent word of the actions of the British spreading is informative of Dawes ingenuity. So many times had he rode out over Roxbury Neck posing as a farmer and a tipsy one, I might add, that the Redcoats guarding the Neck knew him. They felt him harmless and let him pass.
Much has been made of Revere's ride and too little of Dawes. But, they where not the only ones out that night. The countryside was ready for any action by the Redcoats, they had planned for this for some time. As soon as word arrived that, "The Regulars are out!" church bells began ringing, bonfires were lit, and other riders sped to nearby communities to call out the Minute Men. That's why they were called Minute Men, they could be ready in minute's notice. Today, we have missiles that are called Minute Men that do not work a lot of the time. Luckily the real Minute Men did do what they were intended for.

Dawes reached Lexington shortly after Revere. The route being longer for Dawes as he rode through Roxbury, Brookline, Cambridge [Harvard Square], what is now Arlington, and into Lexington. Neither men ever reached Concord that night. Upon leaving Lexington after warning Adams and Hancock they met on the road with Dr. Samuel Prescott. Being "... a warm patriot..." Prescott decided to join in turning out the countryside all the way up to Concord. The three men were soon stopped by a British patrol. Dawes rode off in one direction, Prescott in another. Dawes was thrown from his horse and walked back to Lexington. Prescott was the one who reached Concord that night.

So, why did Revere get so much credit for that night? Well, he was a highly regarded Patriot and did much more than that single ride. I refer you to "Paul Revere and the World He Lived In" by Esther Forbes. There are more recent books than her's but her's is so much more interesting.
Two things helped Revere receive so much credit: 1.. he wrote 3 depositions of his ride [Dawes, none], and 2.. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Longfellow was a great poet [we could use a few, today] but not much of an historian. At the start of the Civil War he wanted to write a patriotic poem to help with recruiting soldiers for the Union. He came upon Revere's depositions and the rest is, as is said, history [or not]. Let me mention a couple inaccuracies. "...I on the opposite shore shall be...". No. Revere was in Boston and it was his idea for the lanterns. He didn't need them to tell him about British movements. Midnight Ride? No. Dawes was sent out before 10 o'clock and Revere a short time later.
Dr. Samuel Prescott was out late that night visiting his fiancee when he met Dawes and Revere. Later in the war he will die as a prisoner of war of the British.

Dawes was not completely forgotten by poets. In 1896 Century Magazine published this written by Helen Moor [or Moore] ......... Ahem!

I am a wandering, bitter shade,
Never of me was a hero made;
Poets have never sung my praise,
Nobody crowned my brow with bays;
And if you ask me the fatal cause.
I answer only, "My name is Dawes."

'Tis all very well for the children to hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere;
But why should my name be quite forgot,
Who rode as boldly and Well, God Wot?
Why should I ask? The reason is clear-
My name was Dawes and his Revere.

When the lights from the Old North Church flashed out,
Paul Revere was waiting about,
But I was already on my way.
The shadows of night fell cold and gray
As I rode without a break or a pause;
But what was the use when my name was Dawes!

History rings with his silvery name;
Closed to me are the portals of fame.
Had he been Dawes and I Revere,
No one had heard of him, I fear.
No one has heard of me because
He was Revere and I was Dawes.

A good friend of mine, who I consider one of Boston's Best Tour Guides, has said that Revere gets a city named for him and Dawes gets a traffic island in Harvard Square.

Dawes returned to being an affable fellow and moved to Marlborough to set up a grocery. His wife Mehitable [May] Dawes bore them six children. Of these six, one died at less than two years off age another at about three years. Mehitable died in 1793 and was buried in her family's lot at the Central Burying Ground. William, Jr. [Jr.] [how does one describe a Jr.'s, Jr.?] lived to be eighty five and had moved to Ohio as a young man. This is where you will find descendants of our William, today. They have a website
While we in Boston, generally, do not know this homegrown patriot, we have him "buried" at the King's Chapel Burying Ground on Tremont Street, downtown, the good folks out in Ohio honor this man and his connections to history. You'll see at King's Chapel the brass plaque placed there in 1899 by the Sons of the Revolution [by way of Wikipedia]/wiki/W: http://en.wikipedia.orgilliam_Dawes

Nice try you Sons of the Revolution but you got the father: William Dawes. Dawes Jr. had been buried with his first wife, Mehitable, over in the May family lot about one hundred years before your plaque placing. Sorry. But you do have everyone believing that Dawes Jr. is there. "Well, there's a plaque there and By Golly those plaques don't lie." say tour books, lots of tour guides, King's Chapel, National Park Service, and, also, the Boston Globe which, by the way, printed an article about my discovery three years ago.
I'm not sure if this link works, as a matter of fact, I'm not sure if any of my links work. I'm not a real blogger, I'm just one who has been asked to blog.

So, where was I??

Dawes' younger sister, Lydia, married a Col. John Coolidge in 1772. That would make the Dawes family in a genealogical line with President Calvin Coolidge. Better yet, Coolidge's vice-president was Charles Gates Dawes, whose great-grand father was our William Dawes Jr. Personally, I wish it was a better presidential duo than those.

More oddities: during WWII a Liberty Ship was named for our Dawes Jr. and it was sunk by the Japanese off of New Zealand. Another William Dawes a Captain in the Royal Marines did surveying in that area of the Pacific in 1788. He, also, was wounded in 1781 in fighting against America while on a British ship.

I could go on and on and I wonder if anyone is left at this point?

If you are still there let me know what you think of this rambling.

Thanks, Your Boston Correspondent.... Al Maze.

May 4, 2010

The Horticulturalists of Forest Hills

On Sunday, May 16th at 2:00 PM, Anthony Sammarco will lead a walking tour on "The Horticulturalists of Forest Hills."
During the nineteenth century, many Bostonians cultivated fruits and flowers on their estates as "gentlemen farmers," and some became proiminent members of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. The founder of Forest Hills Cemetery, Henry A.S. Dearborn (1783-1851,) served as first president of the horticultual society and would cultivate hybrids fruits on his Roxbury estate "Datchett House." Dearborn had intended Forest Hills to serve the Boston community as a lush green sanctuary, an arboretum and picturesque park as well as Boston's most beautiful burying ground. He was to create the first jewel in the Emerald Necklace a generation before Frederick Law Olmstead came to Boston.
Among the prominent horticulturalists whose graves at Forest Hills we will visit are Marshall Pinckney Wilder, hybridizer of such notable camellias as the Camellias Wilderi, Mrs. Abby Wilder, Mrs. Julia Wilder and the Jenny Wilder; Samuel Downer, hybridizer of the "Downer's Late Cherry;" Thaddeus Clapp, hybridizer of the "Clapp's Favorite Pear;" and John Richardson, hybrizider of many peonies among them the "Festiva Maxima" peony.

Participants will sample some of their edible creations such as pears and cherries along the way.We will meet at the Main Gate and please wear comfortable shoes. $9.00

For info (617) 524-3354

May 3, 2010

R. Clipston Sturgis

Yesterday, the walking tour sponsored by the Forest Hills Educational Trust featured the buildings of Forest Hills Cemetery, as well as a few of the architects and builders who are buried at this magnificent cemetery. Among those discussed was Richard Clipston Sturgis, a past president of the Boston Institute of Architects.
R. Clipton Sturgis (1860-1951) was a major architect who was to contribute to the fabric of Boston's rich architectural heritage. Sturgis was the son of Russell Sturgis of Boston, and a nephew of John Hubbard Sturgis; he attended St. Paul's School after being graduated from Harvard would succeed to his uncle's prominent architectural practice in Boston. During his early career, he was to finish his uncle's work in 1876 on the Church of the Advent on Brimmer Street on the flat of Beacon Hill. Sturgis also was to design many other buildings, including the Boston Athletic Association as well as in his own words "houses for the Thayers and Peabodys and Cabots, and shortly thereafter an addition to the Museum of Fine Arts." He also designed buildings for the Winsor School in Boston's Fenway and a hospital for St. Paul's School, from which he had been graduated. It was said in his obituary that for "more than 60 years he almost singlehandedly set Boston's architectural fashions before and after the turn of the [twentieth] century."
Sturgis was a major society architect in Boston, and his rich and solid designs that drew on English traditions included the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (1907,) the Perkins School for the Blind (1911-13,) the Robbins Memorial, the Arlington Town Hall (1913,) additions to the Massachusetts State House (1914-1917,) and the Federal Reserve Bank, in Boston (1922.)

During his illustrious career, R. Clipton Sturgis served as president of the Boston Institute of Architects, the American Institute of Architects and the Society of Arts and Craftys in Boston. His architectural drawings and papers are in the collection of the Boston Athenaeum.

April 21, 2010

Fireman's Memorial

The Fireman's Memorial at Forest Hills Cemetery was erected in 1909 in memory of deceased firefighters of the Boston Fire Department. The impressive monument consists of a granite plinth base upon which stands a bronze statue of a firefighter wearing his firefighting apparel. The base of the monument was constructed at Quincy Granite by J.M. White and Sons, and the bronze statue was cast at the Spaulding Foundry in Chickopee, Massachusetts.

The overall height of the monument is twenty six feet, and the bronze figure of the firefighter was designed by John Wilson of Boston; Wilson also designed the four bronze tablets which are attached to the four sides of the granite base. The tablets depict a steamer, a hook and ladder truck, a protective wagon, and an old-time hand tub. Imbedded in the front of the base are the words "In Memory of Departed Comrades."

The monument was the result of many years of unceasing labor on the part of the Charitable Association, Boston Protective Department, subscriptions from fire companies of Boston and Roxbury and friends. The monument was dedicated on June 13, 1909. The Boston Globe reported that the veteran and regular firemen gathered in the morning at the rooms of the Barnicoat Association hall located at 380 Tremont Street. The various organizations lined up and with several bands playing dirges the men marched to East Lenox Street where they boarded electric cars for Forest Hills Square. At Forest Hills Square under the direction of Chief Marshall Captain Edward A. Bennett were the following aides: John A. Collicut, Henry S. Pike, Captain James F. Hutchins, Squire S. Rogers, Major George M. Quinby, George Fitzgibbons, James J. Hughes, John Durham and Lt. John P. Lane. The line of march to the cemetery and the firemen,s lot was taken up with Captain Walter McLean as adjutant. The line marched into the cemetery in following order: Boyd's Brass Band, escort of 30 men from the Protective and Fire Departments; Captain McCarthy in command; Charitable Association of Boston Fire Department; 60 men with the President Hoseman Daniel W. Mahoney Engine Company 42 in command, Chief Marshall Captain Edward A. Bennett and staff, Tenean Veteran Association; Peter J. Kelley president, Charlestown Veteran Fireman's Association, Mission Church Drum and Bugle Corps., Roxbury Veteran Association; James A. Mitchell president, Boston Veteran Association; John Taylor president, Barnicoat Association; Walter W. Delano president, Fairbank's Band, Jamaica Plain Veterans; John H. O'Brien president, Star of Jamaica Veterans Association; James E. Knight president.

At Forest Hills Cemetery, the marchers met the carriages which were carrying the dignitaries. In the first carriage was Chief of Department John A. Mullen, Honorable John R. Murphy the orator of the day, Fire Commissioner Samuel Parker and Captain Brown S. Flanders Superintendent of Fire Alarm. In the second carriage was ex-mayor John F. Fitzgerald, Nathanial H. Taylor, ex-commissioner Wells and Frederick J. Brand Chairman of the Board of Aldermen and acting Mayor. The following carriages carried distinguished guests, city officials and veteran firemen unable to march. At the Firemen's Lot, there was a tent for the speakers and guests and as the bands alternated playing dirges, the firemen and veterans marched within the roped-off enclosure and stood at attention when Chief Marshall Bennett opened the ceremonies. The Boston Post in their reporting of the unveiling and dedication ceremonies reported that seven hundred men formed and rode to Forest Hills Square and all marched to the cemetery. The Post further reported that the firemen's lot was surrounded by a hollow square of red shirted and blue coated figures. The Boston Herald reported that five thousand were in attendance.

The opening address was made by acting Mayor Frederick J. Brand in which he paid tribute to the bravery of the firemen of Boston, those of today as well as the noble men about whose whose last resting place the throng had gathered. Mr. Nathaniel Taylor of the Boston Globe remarked, "The many noble firemen who served the City of Boston effficiently and honorably did the best they could for the public good. The saving of life was their province. That they did all that was possible for human beings to do in their line of duty is the sincere belief of all our citizens."
"To the departed we say rest in peace. To their living comrades we say your life work is thoroughly appreciated by the City of Boston." Following Mr. Taylor's remarks, the monument was unveiled by Margaret and Josephine McLean of Dorchester, the young daughters of Fire Captain Walter McLean of Engine Company 46. Fire Captain McLean served as Chairman of the monument committee.

After the Mission Church band played "Departed Comrades," the Honorable John R. Murphy of Charlestown who was the orator of the day spoke as follows. "We have gathered here today to dedicate this memorial in honor of the men of the Boston Fire Department. It is fitting that it should be erected here amidst the graves where sleep so many of the dead who have served our city. It is a memorial of beautiful and simple design, yet noble in its simplicity, symbols of the brave deeds of the men in whose honor it was erected. In your day-to-day fire duty, your heroic and monumental accomplishments have, at time, become legendary - and yet you are known far and wide for helping others, even when you are off duty. It seems that many of you can always find time to help youth movements, work in community affairs or help innumerable charitable organizations. A perfect example of that of which I speak is your very presence here this morning - time you take from a precious Sunday to pay respect to your deceased brother firefighters. In closing, I would like to repeat these most appropriate words written by the late Henry Gillen and dedicated to your most honorable profession:

"All honor unto gallantry in reverence we pay that others might have days to be these gave their lives away now glory shall enshrine each name and times their deeds defy since humble men who sought no fame have taught us how to die"

Members Buried At Forest Hills Cemetary Who Died In The Line Of Duty are:

Hoseman John W. Tuttle May 2, 1858 Tremont 12
Hoseman Francis F. Cutting May 2, 1858 Tremont 12
Ladderman Charles Carter Feb 18, 1860 Ladder 1
Hoseman Reuben Hanaford Feb 24, 1862 Hose 5
Hoseman Geo. Abercrombie Jul 11, 1862 Engine 7
Ladderman George Golliff May 11, 1868 Ladder 1
Hoseman James Sturks Feb 27, 1873 Engine 15
Hoseman Joseph Pierce Aug 13, 1884 Engine 4
James Sweetzer Jul 3, 1885 Protective 1
Ladderman Frank P. Loker Nov 28, 1889 Ladder 3
Hoseman John P. Brooks Nov 28, 1889 Hose 7
Hoseman Michael Murnan Nov 28, 1889 Hose 7
Firefighter Edward Connolly Mar 21, 1986 Ladder 17
Firefighter David A. Middleton May 29, 2007 Engine 51
Firefighter Warren J. Payne August 29, 2007 Ladder 25