Reliving history through Boston’s Granary Cemetery

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One of the cool things about Boston is that it’s so rich with Revolutionary War-era history and artifacts. I’m a big fan of cemeteries (you may recall my visits to Andy Warhol’s grave and Marilyn Monroe’s grave), so I had to stop by some of Boston’s cemeteries to see some of the historic grave sites.

The Granary Burying Ground is really odd because it’s located downtown, right across the street from skyscrapers and other evidence of modern life.

The cemetery is super-old, having been established in 1660. There aren’t many American landmarks that are more than 350 years old! More than 2,000 graves are located here, most of them in very close proximity to their neighbors.

boston cemetery

So who’s buried at Granary? How about the legendary Paul Revere, who went on a famous ride to warn residents the British were coming. In case you haven’t been paying attention, he is Sarah Palin’s favorite Civil War hero.

paul revere grave

Paul also gets a memorial on the gate:

paul revere grave

Also located in the cemetery is Samuel Adams, whose chief claim to fame is being the inspiration for a brand of beer. Oh, and he was also a founding father of our nation.

And then you may remember John Hancock, owner of perhaps the most famous penmanship in Revolutionary history. His memorial is located in Granary.

john hancock grave

The cemetery actually discovered a new, hidden grave two years ago when a tourist fell into a secret passageway. I wish that had been me! How quirky would that have been?

Plans are now underway to upgrade and modernize the Granary Burying Ground, which has seen better days. For more, see the site’s official website.


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About the Author

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based journalist and blogger who seeks out offbeat attractions and awesome destinations around the world. He has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Connect Magazine, Matador Travel, and the Washington Post.

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