Boston in Suffolk County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Welcome to Granary Burying Ground
This graveyard was started by Bostonís town officials in 1660 because of overcrowding at the “old burying ground” (Kingís Chapel, one block away). Granary is Bostonís third graveyard and was referred to as the “New Burying Ground” or “South Burying Ground.” Later it was called “Middle” or “Central” Burying Ground
The Granary Burying Ground today covers approximately two acres and contains 2,345 gravestones and 204 tombs. It is probable that more than 8,000 men, women, and children were buried here, the majority in the tombs that border the grounds. Many gravestones have decayed or have been lost. Granary was overcrowded by the 18th century, and burials outside of tombs were prohibited from 1856 on. The gravestone locations have been rearranged at least two times to accommodate pathways and landscaping, so many no longer mark the actual burial location. In 1840 Solomon Willard, sculptor and architect of the Bunker Hill Monument, designed Granaryís Egyptian-style gateway.
First Mayor and First Architect
The Honorable John Phillips (1770-1823)
Scottish architect and portrait painter John Smibert (1688-1751) painted many of the wealthy Bostonians who are buried in Granary Burying Ground. Smibert immigrated to Boston in 1729 and married Mary Williams (1708-after 1753), daughter of schoolmaster Nathaniel Williams. In his first five years in Boston he produced more than 100 portraits of Bostonians, including Judge Samuel Sewall. He later painted Peter Faneuil (sign #7) and was the architect for the original Faneuil Hall in 1740-42. He is recognized today as Americaís first architect. When he died in 1751 he was buried in the Nathaniel Williams Tomb (62). Tomb 62ís tablet is inscribed “Thomas and John Bradleeís Tomb 1816,” with no markings for its 18th century residents. In the 19th century this tomb, similar to many others in Granary, was resold after the colonial owners died out or left town with the British.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Signers of the Declaration of Independence marker series.
Location. 42° 21.438′ N, 71° 3.675′ W. Marker Touch for map. Marker is along the walking trail in Granary Burying Ground, just to the right of the entrance. Marker is in this post office area: Boston MA 02108, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Samuel Adams (here, next to this marker); Victims of the Boston Massacre (here, next to this marker); Granary Burying Ground (a few steps from this marker); Paul Revere Buried in this Ground (a few steps from this marker); A Riot, the Massacre, and the Tea Party (a few steps from this marker); Gravestone Carving (within shouting distance of this marker); Family Memorials (within shouting distance of this marker); Josiah and Abiah Franklin (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Boston.
More about this marker. The middle of the marker contains a map of the plan of Granary Burying Ground with the location of the marker indicated. The right side of the marker features a portrait of Mary Williams and a 17th century map showing the cemetery on the Boston Common.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take a tour of the markers found along the walking trail in Bostonís Granary Burying Ground.
Also see . . . Granary Burying Ground. Details of the Freedom Trail from the City of Boston website. (Submitted on May 9, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 9, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 3,391 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 9, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.