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“A Beautiful Victorian Garden”

Forest Hills Cemetery
Ranked #195 of 396 things to do in Boston
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Forest Hills Cemetery is an active garden cemetery, an historic site, an open-air museum, and a 275-acre greenspace and arboretum located in Jamaica Plain. Constructed in 1848, famous people buried here included abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, suffragist Lucy Stone, poets Anne Sexton and e.e. cummings, playwright Eugene O’Neill, and sculptor Martin Milmore. The Forest Hills Educational Trust hosts poetry readings and manages a contemporary sculpture path.
Avon, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
1,323 reviews
887 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,734 helpful votes
“A Beautiful Victorian Garden”
Reviewed 5 March 2014

I first visited Forest Hills Cemetery for a burial and discovered how beautiful this place is. I never thought I would be writing a review of a cemetery on TripAdvisor but this is a must see attraction. Established in 1848 and still an active cemetery, the 275 acres grounds have been landscaped and maintained as an amazing Victorian garden that includes walking paths, a waterfall, fountain and a lake in the center with shady seats to relax in. The entrance gate and administrative buildings are beautiful Victorian stone structures and there are countless memorials that double as wonderful pieces of sculpture. This is the final resting place of many ordinary people as well as historical figures including the playwright Eugene O’Neill, poets Anne Sexton and E.E. Cummings, sculptor Martin Milmore, suffragist Lucy Stone and the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. While it may sound strange, I highly recommend a visit to this cemetery. Part of the Emerald Necklace string of green spaces, it is located a short drive south of downtown (~6mi, 10k), just south of the Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Drive around and see the wonderful gardens, memorials and architecture. Definitely stop and get out to enjoy the beauty at a slower pace unfiltered by the car’s window and climate control. The gates of the cemetery grounds open daily at 7 am and close at different, posted times during the year or one can call 617-524-0128 in advance for the closing time.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Steve1362
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Philadelphia
Level 6 Contributor
209 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“Simply Special and Unique”
Reviewed 30 June 2013

This cemetery is simply awesome. I really wish that I had more time there and I do plan to go back. The stone statues were everywhere and they were so unique! So much there to see. I had stopped at this cemetery on my way to the Logan Airport. So I had about 3 hours to explore which is not enough time! It was really hard to leave but I knew that I was in for a lot of traffic. The Logan Airport was about 11 miles South, which took me over an hour. But every second I spent in Forest Hills was amazing and worth it. As a Historian and amateur photographer, I usually research more before I visit. The night before I fly out for home, a FB friend of mine mentioned how beautiful this cemetery was. I spent that night in the hotel room researching as much as I could. So I had a general idea of what graves I wanted to visit and what monuments I wanted to see. The staff in the office were awesome. They were so friendly and helpful. You can tell how proud they are being there. They helped me get to the statues and monuments that I couldn't find on my own. At one point I asked a fellow who was an employee patching where a certain monument was. He asked me to wait a moment, finished his project then I followed him to the location. I wish I got his name. He was so pleasant. I was very appreciative since I was very limited time. Although as we drove there I rubber necked all the way. Amazing cemetery. I can tell you that when it was time to go a tear came to my eye. I will make it a mission to get back to this cemetery. It will be on my mind until then. To the staff - Thank you for keeping the cemetery so clean and for being so friendly. You are the best!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank WorryFreePhilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful Place, Horrible President”
Reviewed 29 March 2013

I love the cemetery grounds, and think they are beautiful and well-kept, but I had an unfortunate incident that I'd like to share about the President of the cemetery.

I was walking my dog in the cemetery when a Lexus SUV drives by and a man shouts out the window "leash your dog!" This was done in a very aggressive manner, and so before complying, I asked "Who are you?" My thinking in this was completely natural - I had no idea who this person was or why they were yelling at me. The man proceeded to identify himself as the President - of what I am still unsure, though I assume he meant "president of the Forest Hills Cemetery." He asked who I was in an increasingly aggressive manner and seemed shocked that I would dare to ask him who he was. I identified myself to him, and he then threatened to kick me out of the cemetery if I didn't comply, and finally called me a jerk!

Now, there are two things very wrong with this situation: One, I had no idea I even had to leash my dog in the cemetery. There was no sign saying so anywhere and so I had no idea. And two, this kind of rude and aggressive behavior from the President of The Forest Hills Cemetery is shocking and unfortunate. I can't believe someone who is charged with running that beautiful place is so rude to guests. I don't know if that is normal, but I hope not!



I'd like for others to know about my experience at this place because it was so shocking. As the President of the Cemetery, he could have handled the situation so much differently and it is shocking to me that he decided to just yell at me out of the window of his car. He could have asked me nicely to leash my dog, and I would have complied with a smile. Isn't that how normal adults treat one another? You'd think the President of the cemetery would be, if anything, nicer, friendlier, and more diplomatic than your average cemetery worker. I wouldn't even expect this kind of treatment from the landscapers or security guards!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank DanJO O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massillon, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
39 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“I grew up there....”
Reviewed 8 January 2013

My great-gma use to pack a picnic lunch and we would take the T and bus and then walk there every week. It is beautiful...the most beautiful in Boston. My great-gparents, gparents, aunts, uncles, etc. are buried there along with my young son. I wish I still lived close enough to visit.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank DawnN2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Acton MA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Unique cemetery grounds”
Reviewed 2 September 2007

Most people don't think of visiting a cemetery as a day's outing. This place is really unique. It's a pre-civil war cemetery with fascinating Gothic architecture, incredible trees (including some very large and old copper beech trees) and grounds, and a contemporary sculpture park. To top it all off, there is a little lake in the middle of the cemetery where we spotted a great blue heron! Famous people buried here include e.e. cummings and Eugene O'Neill. Well worth a visit. Peaceful , relaxing, and interesting place to walk.

Helpful?
3 Thank Monadnock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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