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Four old headstones between two trees. Shutterstock

The Boston area's 26 most historic cemeteries, mapped

These include some of America’s oldest burial grounds and the resting places of many very famous folks

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The Boston area hosts some of America's oldest cemeteries, with a handful stretching back to the early 1600s and a goodly portion launching well before the 1900s.

The region's cemeteries, too, contain a veritable village's worth of worthies: presidents, poets, war heroes, jurists, academics, athletes, musicians, and more.

Here is a thorough map of the most notable ones.

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1. Old Hill Burying Ground

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The oldest grave here belongs to a Mr. Joseph Merriam, who died April 20, 1677.

Dozens of Revolutionary War veterans are also buried here, including Major John Buttrick, one of the leaders of the Minutemen at the Battle of Concord (and supposedly the one who fired the shot heard 'round the world).

2. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

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Bedford St
Concord, MA 01742
(978) 371-6299
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This nearly 32-acre cemetery dates from 1855, and includes such literary notables as Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Old headstones with moss growing on them. Shutterstock

3. Ye Olde Burying Ground

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The earliest graves in this Lexington cemetery date from 1690.

American soldiers killed during the Battle of Lexington in 1775 were originally buried here, but their remains were transferred in 1835 (though the remains of a British soldier who died from the battle are buried here).

The cemetery contains the graves of many prominent early Lexington settlers, according to the town.

4. Lexington Green

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Massachusetts Ave.
Lexington, MA 02420

The green includes the nation's oldest war memorial, dedicated in 1799 to those soldiers who fought the British in the similarly named 1775 battle.

The remains of those American killed in the Battle of Lexington were transferred in 1835 to the rear of the memorial.

An obelisk-shaped war monument behind an iron fence. Shutterstock

5. Westerly Burying Ground

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Centre Street & Mount Vernon Street
Boston, MA 02132

Established in 1683, this cemetery became the burial ground for the then-Town of West Roxbury.

6. Market Street Burial Ground

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Market Street
Boston, MA 02135

The earliest burials in this cemetery in what was then known as "Little Cambridge" date from the 1760s.

7. Mount Auburn Cemetery

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580 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 607-1980
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This cemetery includes more than 900 people who served during the Civil War.

The big sphinx statue there, in fact, is a memorial to those who died in the war.

Rows of headstones amid a nicely manicured lawn. Shutterstock

8. Walter Street Burying Ground

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125 Arborway
Boston, MA 02130

This cemetery dates from the second decade of the 1700s, and includes a single tomb for Revolutionary soldiers.

9. Old Burying Ground

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Walnut Street & Kennard Road
Brookline, MA 02445

The last interment in this cemetery dating from 1717 was as recent as 1995.

10. Old Burial Ground

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The first grave here dates from 1653, and, because it was the only burying ground in Cambridge for about 200 years, it contains more than 1,200 resting places.

Rows of headstones amid a soggy, leave-covered lawn. Shutterstock

11. Forest Hills Cemetery

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95 Forest Hills Ave
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 524-0128
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The 275-acre cemetery dates from the late 1840s, and Mt. Auburn in Cambridge inspired its design.

Notables interred there include poets e.e. cummings and Anne Sexton as well as playwright Eugene O'Neill.

The sculpture "Death Stays the Hand of the Sculptor" by Daniel Chester French (think the Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial) is also there.

An arched entryway to a cemetery, with two small towers poking up from either end of the arch. Shutterstock

12. Milk Row Cemetery

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Somerville Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143

This cemetery dating from 1804 is thought to include the oldest Civil War soldiers monument in the country, erected in the thick of the conflict in 1863.

It is also known as the Old Somerville Cemetery.

13. Eliot Burying Ground

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Washington Street & Eustis Street
Boston, MA 02119

This is the oldest cemetery in Roxbury, with the first interment having been in 1633.

Uneven rows of old headstones, with a footpath among the headstones. Shutterstock

14. South End Burying Ground

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2118 Washington St
Boston, MA 02119

Dating from 1810, gallows were located on the east end of this cemetery, prompting the myth that mostly pirates and other criminals were buried here.

Who, exactly, is buried here, however, is difficult to determine as it was not a site for the fancy-stone-buying elite.

15. Phipps Street Burial Ground

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This cemetery dates from the mid-17th century, around the time of the colonization of Charlestown.

16. Dorchester South Burying Ground

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Gallivan Boulevard & Dorchester Avenue
Boston, MA 02124

Burials started here in 1814 to alleviate crowding at the Dorchester North Burying Ground.

17. Central Burying Ground

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Central Burying Ground
Boston, MA

Burials started here in 1754, and include those for British soldiers killed during the Revolution as well as painter Gilbert Stuart.

There are also tombs housing remains disturbed during street and T construction.

Sporadically placed headstones in a lush cemetery. Shutterstock

18. Dorchester North Burying Ground

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Columbia Road & Stoughton Street
Boston, MA 02125

First laid out in 1634, it's Dorchester's oldest surviving landmark.

It contains the remains, too, of as many as 40 unknown Revolutionary War veterans.

19. Bunker Hill Burying Ground

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197 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

Burials may have started here as early as 1801, just over 25 years after the famous battle nearby.

The official founding year is 1807, though.

20. Granary Burial Ground

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120 Tremont Street, Suffolk University, Suffolk University Law School
Boston, MA 02108

This cemetery teems with early American notables, including John Hancock, Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin's parents (notable for being Benjamin Franklin's parents), Samuel Adams, James Otis, and five victims of the Boston Massacre.

Rows and rows of old headstones below trees changing color. Shutterstock

21. Kings Chapel Burying Ground

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58 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 635-4505
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This is the granddaddy of Boston burial grounds, dating from 1630, and including such notables as John Winthrop, Massachusetts' first colonial governor, and William Dawes, who rode with Paul Revere.

Rows of headstones in a cemetery next to a two-story brick building. Shutterstock

22. Copp's Hill Burying Ground

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21 Hull Street
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 635-7389
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This cemetery was laid out in 1659, though burials might have started more than 20 years before.

The Mathers of ministerial fame are entombed here, as is Robert Newman, who placed the lanterns in Christ Church to warn Paul Revere.

Densely, but sporadically placed headstones. Shutterstock

23. Saint Augustine's Chapel and Cemetery

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Established in 1818, the site is likely the oldest Catholic cemetery in Massachusetts and definitely the oldest in South Boston.

A chapel was built within it around the same time, the oldest Catholic church building in the commonwealth.

24. Hawes Burying Ground/Union Cemetery

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E Fifth St & Hall Pl
Boston, MA 02127

This site combines two adjacent graveyards, Hawes Burying Ground and Union Cemetery. Hawes dates from at least 1821, and Union from later in the 19th century.

It was the last cemetery laid out in South Boston and is the smallest in the neighborhood.

25. Bennington Street Cemetery

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This plot dating from 1838, one of the first planned open spaces of East Boston, has an unusually high number of epitaphs in foreign languages due to the number of immigrants buried there.

26. Hancock Cemetery

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1307 Hancock Street
Quincy, MA 02169

This was the original resting place of presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams (until they were moved across the street).

It dates from 1640, and is named after the father of the Founding Father.

1. Old Hill Burying Ground

Concord, MA

The oldest grave here belongs to a Mr. Joseph Merriam, who died April 20, 1677.

Dozens of Revolutionary War veterans are also buried here, including Major John Buttrick, one of the leaders of the Minutemen at the Battle of Concord (and supposedly the one who fired the shot heard 'round the world).

2. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Bedford St, Concord, MA 01742
Old headstones with moss growing on them. Shutterstock

This nearly 32-acre cemetery dates from 1855, and includes such literary notables as Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Bedford St
Concord, MA 01742

3. Ye Olde Burying Ground

Lexington, MA 02421

The earliest graves in this Lexington cemetery date from 1690.

American soldiers killed during the Battle of Lexington in 1775 were originally buried here, but their remains were transferred in 1835 (though the remains of a British soldier who died from the battle are buried here).

The cemetery contains the graves of many prominent early Lexington settlers, according to the town.

4. Lexington Green

Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA 02420
An obelisk-shaped war monument behind an iron fence. Shutterstock

The green includes the nation's oldest war memorial, dedicated in 1799 to those soldiers who fought the British in the similarly named 1775 battle.

The remains of those American killed in the Battle of Lexington were transferred in 1835 to the rear of the memorial.

Massachusetts Ave.
Lexington, MA 02420

5. Westerly Burying Ground

Centre Street & Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02132

Established in 1683, this cemetery became the burial ground for the then-Town of West Roxbury.

Centre Street & Mount Vernon Street
Boston, MA 02132

6. Market Street Burial Ground

Market Street, Boston, MA 02135

The earliest burials in this cemetery in what was then known as "Little Cambridge" date from the 1760s.

Market Street
Boston, MA 02135

7. Mount Auburn Cemetery

580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Rows of headstones amid a nicely manicured lawn. Shutterstock

This cemetery includes more than 900 people who served during the Civil War.

The big sphinx statue there, in fact, is a memorial to those who died in the war.

580 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

8. Walter Street Burying Ground

125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130

This cemetery dates from the second decade of the 1700s, and includes a single tomb for Revolutionary soldiers.

125 Arborway
Boston, MA 02130

9. Old Burying Ground

Walnut Street & Kennard Road, Brookline, MA 02445

The last interment in this cemetery dating from 1717 was as recent as 1995.

Walnut Street & Kennard Road
Brookline, MA 02445

10. Old Burial Ground

Cambridge, MA 02138
Rows of headstones amid a soggy, leave-covered lawn. Shutterstock

The first grave here dates from 1653, and, because it was the only burying ground in Cambridge for about 200 years, it contains more than 1,200 resting places.

11. Forest Hills Cemetery

95 Forest Hills Ave, Boston, MA 02130
An arched entryway to a cemetery, with two small towers poking up from either end of the arch. Shutterstock

The 275-acre cemetery dates from the late 1840s, and Mt. Auburn in Cambridge inspired its design.

Notables interred there include poets e.e. cummings and Anne Sexton as well as playwright Eugene O'Neill.

The sculpture "Death Stays the Hand of the Sculptor" by Daniel Chester French (think the Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial) is also there.

95 Forest Hills Ave
Boston, MA 02130

12. Milk Row Cemetery

Somerville Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143

This cemetery dating from 1804 is thought to include the oldest Civil War soldiers monument in the country, erected in the thick of the conflict in 1863.

It is also known as the Old Somerville Cemetery.

Somerville Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143

13. Eliot Burying Ground

Washington Street & Eustis Street, Boston, MA 02119
Uneven rows of old headstones, with a footpath among the headstones. Shutterstock

This is the oldest cemetery in Roxbury, with the first interment having been in 1633.

Washington Street & Eustis Street
Boston, MA 02119

14. South End Burying Ground

2118 Washington St, Boston, MA 02119

Dating from 1810, gallows were located on the east end of this cemetery, prompting the myth that mostly pirates and other criminals were buried here.

Who, exactly, is buried here, however, is difficult to determine as it was not a site for the fancy-stone-buying elite.

2118 Washington St
Boston, MA 02119

15. Phipps Street Burial Ground

Charlestown, MA 02129

This cemetery dates from the mid-17th century, around the time of the colonization of Charlestown.

16. Dorchester South Burying Ground

Gallivan Boulevard & Dorchester Avenue, Boston, MA 02124

Burials started here in 1814 to alleviate crowding at the Dorchester North Burying Ground.

Gallivan Boulevard & Dorchester Avenue
Boston, MA 02124

17. Central Burying Ground

Central Burying Ground, Boston, MA
Sporadically placed headstones in a lush cemetery. Shutterstock

Burials started here in 1754, and include those for British soldiers killed during the Revolution as well as painter Gilbert Stuart.

There are also tombs housing remains disturbed during street and T construction.

Central Burying Ground
Boston, MA

18. Dorchester North Burying Ground

Columbia Road & Stoughton Street, Boston, MA 02125

First laid out in 1634, it's Dorchester's oldest surviving landmark.

It contains the remains, too, of as many as 40 unknown Revolutionary War veterans.

Columbia Road & Stoughton Street
Boston, MA 02125

19. Bunker Hill Burying Ground

197 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, MA 02129

Burials may have started here as early as 1801, just over 25 years after the famous battle nearby.

The official founding year is 1807, though.

197 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

20. Granary Burial Ground

120 Tremont Street, Suffolk University, Suffolk University Law School, Boston, MA 02108
Rows and rows of old headstones below trees changing color. Shutterstock

This cemetery teems with early American notables, including John Hancock, Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin's parents (notable for being Benjamin Franklin's parents), Samuel Adams, James Otis, and five victims of the Boston Massacre.

120 Tremont Street, Suffolk University, Suffolk University Law School
Boston, MA 02108

21. Kings Chapel Burying Ground

58 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108
Rows of headstones in a cemetery next to a two-story brick building. Shutterstock

This is the granddaddy of Boston burial grounds, dating from 1630, and including such notables as John Winthrop, Massachusetts' first colonial governor, and William Dawes, who rode with Paul Revere.

58 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108

22. Copp's Hill Burying Ground

21 Hull Street, Boston, MA 02113
Densely, but sporadically placed headstones. Shutterstock

This cemetery was laid out in 1659, though burials might have started more than 20 years before.

The Mathers of ministerial fame are entombed here, as is Robert Newman, who placed the lanterns in Christ Church to warn Paul Revere.

21 Hull Street
Boston, MA 02113

23. Saint Augustine's Chapel and Cemetery

Boston, MA

Established in 1818, the site is likely the oldest Catholic cemetery in Massachusetts and definitely the oldest in South Boston.

A chapel was built within it around the same time, the oldest Catholic church building in the commonwealth.

24. Hawes Burying Ground/Union Cemetery

E Fifth St & Hall Pl, Boston, MA 02127

This site combines two adjacent graveyards, Hawes Burying Ground and Union Cemetery. Hawes dates from at least 1821, and Union from later in the 19th century.

It was the last cemetery laid out in South Boston and is the smallest in the neighborhood.

E Fifth St & Hall Pl
Boston, MA 02127

25. Bennington Street Cemetery

Boston, MA

This plot dating from 1838, one of the first planned open spaces of East Boston, has an unusually high number of epitaphs in foreign languages due to the number of immigrants buried there.

26. Hancock Cemetery

1307 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02169

This was the original resting place of presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams (until they were moved across the street).

It dates from 1640, and is named after the father of the Founding Father.

1307 Hancock Street
Quincy, MA 02169