This was both the first, and the last, cemetery that I visited in Boston. It’s also the cemetery that I didn’t really visit at all, as every time I went the gates were locked. Despite being in the Boston Common with hundreds of people all around, not a single person was inside the cemetery which made me think that it wasn’t just me: the gates were locked (although from what I can tell they are usually open during the day). I don’t know if I was just unlucky, or what.

Guard Squirrel

There isn’t too much to say about the cemetery – it’s fairly old (1756) and has a number of people interred there who were connected to the early history of the area – Gilbert Stuart, the artist who painted the portraits of George and Marsha Washington, British soldiers who died while occupying the city during the Revolutionary War, and Samuel Sprague, who participated in the Boston Tea Party.

The cemetery is full of slab-style headstones, which I am always fascinated with and would have loved to explore. The old epitaphs, the cherubs, skulls, and skeletons are all symbols we really don’t see much of anymore. Hopefully I’ll be able to see them if I ever make it back to Boston again.


Monuments: Numerous slab style gravestone, some tombs, and a mass grave for bodies found during city improvements.

Grounds: Fairly flat, with nice paths, trees provide some shade.

Visitors: None, as the gates were not opened the day I went.

Notes: You may or may not be able to enter, depending on whether or not the cemetery is open to the public.


Cemetery: Central Burying Ground

Established: 1756

Notable Internments: see text above

Location: Boylston Street, between Tremont and Charles Streets (the corner of Boston Common).

Hours: Unknown. I’ve seen opening hours listed online, but don’t know how old that information is.