A sweet and sorrowful piece of history awaits when visiting the newly named Prospect Park in Shrewsbury. The Park encompasses the Garden of Sweet Remembrance—a pergola, low-lying walls, and a now empty reflecting pool. These are the ruins of the beautiful grounds where the Whittall mansion once stood.
Matthew J. Whittall was a prominent businessman and Mason. In 1912 he commissioned his mansion, Juniper Hall, to be built on the tallest hill overlooking the town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. The public was welcome to tour the formal gardens and admire the flowers that bloomed there. After Whittall passed in 1922, his widow Gertrude dedicated the pergola in his memory. Their mansion later became a home for retired Masons, before eventually falling into disrepair. The house was torn down in 1979, and the land now belongs to the Town of Shrewsbury.
For many years the garden remained practically hidden under overgrown vines. The low-lying walls and reflecting pool were barely visible under the overgrowth. But in recent years a group of citizens called the Friends of Prospect Park have dedicated efforts to clearing the vines and planting flowers in the hopes of restoring the grounds and garden to some of their former beauty. The pergola itself still stands, though it is partially ruined due to vandalism and the elements it has withstood over the years.
Though the elegant mansion that once stood here is long gone, the Garden of Sweet Remembrance is a beautiful and peaceful spot to visit, and it holds the magic of a time gone by and a love remembered.
Know Before You Go
There are walking trails along the property leading up to the Garden which is at the top of a tall hill. Expect a 10 minute walk uphill when parking at the entrance.