1882 Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings Vo 1 019




Status: Complete


Consecration of Mount Auburn.

Just 56 years ago to-day, the 24th of
September, 1831, Mount Auburn was set
apart and consecrated as a place of burial
for the dead. I remember the day as if it
were but yesterday, as one of the lovliest
of those bright and beautiful days which
give to a New England Autumn an almost
unearthly character, and when we feel that
it is a blessing to live. The atmosphere was
all purity and fragrance and the showers of
the preceding night combined to make the
day one of the most delightful ever experi-
enced. The trees, not yet divested of their
foliage, were beginning to show those rich
and varied colors that indicate the decline
of the year. The leaves of the maple were
yellow and crimson; the oaks a sober
brown; the ash the mellow purple, and the
pines boasting of the everlasting green.
I was then a lad of 18 years, and had been
familiar with the spot from my earliest
childhood. It was then known as "Sweet
Auburn," and was the favorite resort of
both old and young for rural excursions.
It was a wild and romantic spot, and what
is now a city of the dead was the habita-
tion of the field-mouse and the squirrel.
What a change has a period of fifty years
brought about! The visitor now sees the
marble urn and the granite obelisk mark-
ing the spots where repose the relics of
departed friends and relatives. In its
ample bosom now rests the venerable
statesman, the beloved pastor, the able
jurist, the opulent merchant, the soldier,
the philanthropist, and they who were un-
known to fame, but whose memories are
ever green and sacred to loving friends.

It was of a Saturday aftenoon when
the consercrtion services took place, and
no one who was present can ever forget the
interesting and impressive ceremonies of
the time and place. A procession com-
posed of members of the corporation and
others, headed by the Brigade Band, en-
tered the grounds through a common set of
bars, where now is the imposing gateway
of Egyptian architecture, and proceeded to
the spot now known as "Consecration
Dell," where temporary seats were erected
and a stage from the orator and chaplain.
The address was by that accomplished
scholar and learned jurist, Judge Story,
and was full of piety, devotion and pathos;
solemn music filled the air, and a thousand
voices joined in singing a hymn, and thus
closed the ceremonies of the consecration
of Mount Auburn, fifty-six years ago, an
event that opened a new era in this country
in every thing pertaining to our places of

Whoever will look back for a period of
fifty years cannot but be struck with the
great change that has taken place in rela-
tion to the setting apart of suitable grounds
for rural cemeteries. Instead of the wild
and neglected "burying grounds" which
were so common in almost all our country
towns, we now see neat and appropriate
places set apart as cemeteries, many of
them being adorned with trees and shrub
bery and neatly enclosed and kept in order.
All this change has taken place since the
consecration of Mount Auburn, fifty-six
years ago to-day, which was the first rural
cemetery in the country.


[Printed Letterhead:

Factory Broadway





Also, Soda and Scouring Soap for Woolen Manufacturers.

Sole Proprietors of the Salicylic Laundry and Toilet Soap.

Cambridgeport, Mass. May 2d 1888

Mr Farmer

Dear Sir

I enclose the lines
refered to when at your office on
monday last.

You may not think
them worth preserving as they
were but the hasty expression of
my thoughts on that anniversary
day Sept 21st 1887

Very Truly yours
John Livermore

287 Harvard Street

The most beautiful of the
many cemeteries round about is undoubtedly
Mt. Auburn, with its winding walks thronged
by the tombstones—all the pretty paths
named after different flowers—its glorious
views across the Charles river: its groves of
stately trees and parterres of bright flower,
kept so trimly and plously as to render the
spot a veritable "garden of death" its
galaxy of great names hallowing the
air—Longfellow, Story, Winthrop, Adams,
Channing, Margaret fuller, Dana. etc.

Edwin Arnold,
Letter in Sunday Herald. Nov. 3. [18]89.

Notes and Questions

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page