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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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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).

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

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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

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.

Lexington Green

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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

Westerly Burying Ground

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

Market Street Burial Ground

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

Mount Auburn Cemetery

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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

Walter Street Burying Ground

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

Old Burying Ground

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

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

Forest Hills Cemetery

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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

Milk Row Cemetery

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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.

Eliot Burying Ground

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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

South End Burying Ground

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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.

Phipps Street Burial Ground

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

Dorchester South Burying Ground

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

Central Burying Ground

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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

Dorchester North Burying Ground

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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.

Bunker Hill Burying Ground

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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.

Granary Burial Ground

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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

Kings Chapel Burying Ground

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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

Copp's Hill Burying Ground

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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

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.

Hawes Burying Ground/Union Cemetery

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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.

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.

Hancock Cemetery

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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.

Old Hill Burying Ground

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).

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

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.

Old headstones with moss growing on them. Shutterstock

Ye Olde Burying Ground

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.

Lexington Green

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.

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

Westerly Burying Ground

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

Market Street Burial Ground

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

Mount Auburn Cemetery

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.

Rows of headstones amid a nicely manicured lawn. Shutterstock

Walter Street Burying Ground

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

Old Burying Ground

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

Old Burial Ground

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.

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

Forest Hills Cemetery

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.

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

Milk Row Cemetery

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.

Eliot Burying Ground

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.

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

South End Burying Ground

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.

Phipps Street Burial Ground

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

Dorchester South Burying Ground

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

Central Burying Ground

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.

Sporadically placed headstones in a lush cemetery. Shutterstock

Dorchester North Burying Ground

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.

Bunker Hill Burying Ground

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.

Granary Burial Ground

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.

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

Kings Chapel Burying Ground

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.

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

Copp's Hill Burying Ground