About

Forest Hills—A Special Place

FOREST HILLS CEMETERY is one of the finest examples of the garden cemetery in the United States. It was founded in 1848 to provide a magnificent park-like setting to bury and remember family and friends. Set among the important jewels of Greater Boston’s “Emerald Necklace”—the linked collection of parks and green spaces (the “jewels”) that ring the city—Forest Hills Cemetery is a treasure trove of natural splendor and man-made beauty. In recognition of its unique qualities, Forest Hills Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

More than 275 rolling acres is the setting for art, sculpture, memorials and architecture that are admired around the world. And throughout the landscape, carefully cultivated bushes, trees and plantings contribute to an atmosphere that is both restful and arresting… an enchanting combination that celebrates the living, while commemorating the deceased. It is no wonder Forest Hills Cemetery was named one of the “1000 Greatest Places” in Massachusetts.

Forest Hills is indeed a special place. Wooded heights and shaded valleys alternate from side to side. There are grassy slopes and shaded lanes, a waterfall and fountain—and in the center of things, a serene lake surrounded by mature trees providing dappled shade, as well as comfortable seating from which to laze away a summer afternoon.

The famous and lesser known are at rest here—at peace in a truly beautiful setting. From the beginning in 1848, Forest Hills has been the resting place for some of the community’s most outstanding citizens, honored for service to their country, or for their success in politics, literature or the arts and sciences. It is also a resting place for every citizen, of any origin or accomplishment.

Today, Forest Hills is still an active burial ground, and is also a historic site, an open-air museum, and a 275-acre greenspace and arboretum. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, the distinctive Victorian landscape design features meandering paths, scenic vistas, and lovely lake Hibiscus. Many prominent historic, cultural and civic figures are buried here, including the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, suffragist Lucy Stone, poets Anne Sexton and e.e. cummings, playwright Eugene O’Neill, and sculptor Martin Milmore.

Forest Hills Cemetery continues to be the choice of prominent and significant Americans, nearly 165 years since its founding.

The Cemetery is open throughout the year. For more information, see Visiting / Hours & Directions.