Forest Hills Cemetery – Boston, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura
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Boston, Massachusetts

Forest Hills Cemetery

A beautiful Victorian cemetery complete with miniature village. 

In Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, at the end of the orange line on the MBTA, the Victorian-era Forest Hills Cemetery lies on 275 acres of green space.

Centered around a peaceful lake, the cemetery showcases both natural and man-made beauty. Many of the graves are adorned with beautiful sculpture, and the mausoleums that dot the hillsides display attractive architectural detail. Several contemporary sculptures add a sense of playfulness—look for the a family of dressed-up trees and miniature village.

The miniature village was added in 2006 as part of a larger exhibition in the cemetery. According to artist Christopher Frost

“Each concrete building is a replica of the home of a particular person buried at Forest Hills. I chose structures from the thousands of possible residences in order to include a variety of architectural styles. Just as the houses’ architecture reflected the diversity of their occupants’ background, social status, ethnicity, and other traits during their lifetimes, so the architecture of their monuments and grave sites reflects those traits after their deaths.”

Worth extra weirdness points, is spotting the tiny concrete model home of Ralph Martin, a wagon-driver, who perished in Boston’s most unusual disaster the Great Molasses Flood.

The Victorian cemetery is home to a number of prominent historic figures, including poets Anne Sexton and E.E. Cummings, and playwright Eugene O’Neill. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.