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Exploring Boston's Four Burying Grounds

Spooky season is upon us and we're highlighting Boston's four burying grounds, dating as old as 1630. They're within a mile and a half of each other, so it's easy to see them all in a day. Or join our tours to see two of them and drink beer along the way.

1. Central Burying Ground

This burying ground is on the edge of Boston Common and was founded most recently, in 1756. Being the furthest from Boston's center meant that it was the least desirable location to be buried. One luminary interred here is artist Gilbert Stuart, who painted the image of George Washington we see today on the dollar bill. More chilling is the mass grave of thousands of bodies unearthed from Boston Common when the city began subway construction in 1895.

2. Granary Burying Ground

This is our favorite burying ground because it hosts many revolutionary power players. John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Paul Revere are all buried here. Join our tours to learn more about them and their drinking habits! The victims of the Boston Massacre and signatory of the Declaration of Independence, Robert Treat Paine, can also be found here.

3. King's Chapel Burying Ground

This is the oldest of Boston's cemeteries, being founded in 1630. Despite its age, few recognizable names are buried there, with the exception of John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. There are some exceptional grave markers here, so get low when wandering through.

4. Copp's Hill Burying Ground

This cemetery is steps from Old North Church (of "one if by land, two if by sea" fame), so if you're thinking of skipping this one, it's worth visiting because it's so close to other historic sites. This is the largest of Boston's cemeteries and is home to both Cotton and Increase Mather, known for their role in the Salem Witch Trials. Appropriately, we've seen a black cat roaming the grounds several times and it's worth keeping an eye out. Also, head to the north side of the cemetery to see the headstone of Daniel Malcolm, whose headstone was used as target practice by British soldiers.


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