Forest Hills Cemetery


Forest Hills Cemetery is a historic 275-acre (111.3 ha) rural cemetery, greenspace, arboretum and sculpture garden located in the Forest Hills section of the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The cemetery was established in 1848 as a public municipal cemetery of the town of Roxbury, but was privatized when Roxbury was annexed to Boston.

Forest Hills Cemetery
Forest Hills Cemetery.JPG
Forest Hills Cemetery entrance
Forest Hills Cemetery is located in Massachusetts
Forest Hills Cemetery
Forest Hills Cemetery is located in the United States
Forest Hills Cemetery
Location95 Forest Hills Ave.
Boston, Massachusetts
Area250 acres (100 ha)
Built1848 (1848)
ArchitectBillings, Hammatt; et al.
Architectural styleColonial, Gothic Revival
NRHP reference No.04001219[1]
Added to NRHPNovember 17, 2004


Forest Hills Cemetery is located in the southern part of Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. It is roughly bounded on the southwest by Walk Hill Street, the southeast, by the American Legion Highway, and the northeast by the Arborway and Morton Street, where its entrance is located. To the northwest, it is separated from Hyde Park Avenue by a small residential area. It abuts Franklin Park, which lies to the northeast, and is a short distance from the Arnold Arboretum to the northwest, and forms a greenspace that augments the city's Emerald Necklace of parkland.

The cemetery has a number of notable monuments, including some by famous sculptors. Among these are Daniel Chester French's Death Staying the Hand of the Sculptor and John Wilson's Firemen's Memorial. Forest Hills Cemetery is an active cemetery where interments take place on most days of the year.


On March 28, 1848, Roxbury City Council (the municipal board in charge of the area at that time) gave an order for the purchase of the farms of the Seaverns family to establish a rural municipal park cemetery. Inspired by the Mount Auburn Cemetery, Forest Hills Cemetery was designed by Henry A. S. Dearborn to provide a park-like setting to bury and remember family and friends. In the year the cemetery was established, another 14+12 acres (5.9 ha) were purchased from John Parkinson. This made for a little more than 71 acres (29 ha) at a cost of $27,894. The area was later increased to 225 acres (91.1 ha). In 1893, the first crematorium in Massachusetts was added to the cemetery, along with other features like a scattering garden, an indoor columbarium and an outdoor columbarium. In 1927, anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were cremated here after their execution; their ashes were later returned to Italy.

Notable persons interred at Forest HillsEdit

Gateway and Bell Tower.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Early Families of Roxbury, Massachusetts genealogy project". geni_family_tree. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  3. ^ Augustus Charles Thompson, Nathaniel George Clark (1880). Discourse commemorative of Rev. Rufus Anderson: D.D., LL.D. American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
  4. ^ The American renaissance in New England (Third series ed.). Detroit: Gale Group. 2001. p. 32.
  5. ^ Fletcher, Ron (2005-02-25). "Who's buried in Dawes's tomb?". Boston Globe.
  6. ^ John H. Eicher; David J. Eicher (2001). Civil War high commands. Stanford University Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1.
  7. ^ "Life's Work Ended. – Funeral of Albert Winslow Nickerson at Dedham". The Boston Globe. May 21, 1893. p. 5. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via
  8. ^ "Obituary Notes" (PDF). The New York Times. 23 June 1885. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Joseph William Torrey". Find a Grave. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  10. ^ [1] CWGC Cemetery Report, details obtained from casualty record.

Further readingEdit

  • Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell, Forest Hills Cemetery, Arcadia Publishing, Images of America series, 2009

External linksEdit

  • Forest Hills Cemetery official site
  • Forest Hills Educational Trust
  • Photos of Forest Hills Cemetery
  • Heart of the City article and photos

Coordinates: 42°17′42″N 71°06′22″W / 42.295°N 71.106°W / 42.295; -71.106