Granary Burying Ground

by Kaylah Stroup
Boston, headstone,

After checking out of our hotel in Waterville, Maine Sunday morning we started the drive to New York City. We weaved our way through precious little ocean towns, and stopped at a handful of geocaches along the way. Throughout the trip I had been checking Roadside America because that’s what I do when I’m anywhere I’m unfamiliar with. Coming up, in Boston, was Mother Goose’s Gravesite*. Jeff desperately wanted to visit Boston since he’d never been there but I was insisting we waited until we actually had time to explore the city. I wasn’t interested in spending a small amount of time, I wanted to wait until we had enough time to see everything Boston had to offer. Well, that was until I clicked on the photo of Mother Goose’s headstone. IT HAD A SKULL!

Okay, so if you’ve been keeping up to date with my cemetery posts you might recall me mentioning that I love headstone symbolism. There is tons of it here but Ohio just isn’t old enough to have the kind of stuff I really want to find. Number one on my wishlist of things to find was a skull. The fact that I was guaranteed to find one, and on Mother Goose’s headstone of all places, meant I was all of a sudden SUPER interested in Boston.

In no time at all, I mean other than that 25 minute detour because of ONE single wrong turn, we were in Granary Buying Ground. I have never in my life seen a cemetery so full of people. I guess it’s not too surprising though considering the amount of history packed into this small space. John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Samuel Adams are just a few of the big names buried here. Not even going to lie though, despite being surprised at the amount of historical figures here, the highlight for me continued to be the fact that nearly every single headstone was decorated with a skull. I was in heaven!

Granary Burying Ground is the third oldest cemetery in Boston, founded in 1660, which makes Cleveland’s oldest cemetery (1826!) sound like it was started just yesterday. It also means this is easily the oldest cemetery I have ever been in. It is safe to say they just don’t make ’em like they used to.

headstonesGranary Burying Groundmary goose, headstone, skull, Granary Burying Ground
Mary Goose’s grave.

The only thing that would have made this cemetery more enjoyable for me is if it wasn’t packed full of living people (and if it hadn’t been one thousand degrees!) I imagine on a cool weekday this place is an absolute dream. I’m still looking forward to seeing more of Boston some day, even more than I was being this very brief visit. Granary Burying Ground was an excellent first impression of the city.

*Apparently she is not THE Mother Goose. Some sources say the myth was started to encourage tourism to the cemetery. If you’d like to do more reading on the subject you can do so here. Regardless, it got me to this cemetery and it was an incredibly headstone so it’s all good by me.

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