We Had Tours:
Mount Auburn Cemetery

And More Tours...and more tours!
Portraits in Stone-Hope Cemetery.

  On October 5, a brilliant fall day, a group of 25 nature lovers and cemetery buffs traveled by bus from Worcester to Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge for a 1 1/2 hour walking tour sponsored by the Friends of Hope and led by Mount Auburn s Janet Heywood, the Vice President of Interpretive Programs for the cemetery.
  Founded in 1831, Mount Auburn was the first landscaped garden cemetery in the United States and it quickly became an attraction for visitors drawn to its rolling hills, charming vistas, rare trees (there are more than 600 varieties) and magnificent gardens. (More than 50,000 annuals are planted each year.) Mount Auburn is the final resting place for such famous Americans as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mary Baker Eddy, Isabella Stewart Gardner, Buckminster Fuller, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Winslow Homer and B.F. Skinner.
  Ms. Heywood began by leading the group past the lovely Auburn lake, with its visiting wild ducks and reflections of autumn colors. She discussed historically important mausoleums such as those of the Gardner and Lodge families and pointed out the stunning view of the Mary Baker Eddy monument, a classical Greek temple across the water.
  Some of the group followed Ms. Heywood up to the famous Washington Tower which provides a bird s eye view of Boston in the distance. The rest visited the Longfellow grave. Once reunited, the group wished that they had time to visit all 175 acres of this historic place. On the ride home, they shared their impressions of one of America s great cemeteries.

  The autumn sunshine was just as dazzling on Sunday, October 27, when Bill Wallace, president of the Worcester Historical Museum, presented a tour of Hope Cemetery entitled Portraits in Stone. The lecture was part of a city-wide celebration by cultural institutions on the theme of Portraits! , organized by the Worcester Cultural Coalition.
  Bill led an enthusiastic group of nearly 40 walkers through the cemetery, pausing at memorials which provide either a literal or symbolic portrait of the person they memorialize. The earliest sites selected to illustrate the theme were 19th-century portraits of the deceased carved into the monuments: like the oval portrait on the obelisk to boot manufacturer Timothy Stone and the relief bust of Burnham Wardwell, an early warden of prisons and insane asylums, carved by celebrated Worcester sculptor Andrew O Connor in the early 1880s. The group admired the lovely statuary at the Chickering monument, representing the angel of death standing over a kneeling woman, lifting the veil from the eyes of Faith. Another stop was made to admire the magnificent angel overlooking the Coes plot, which has recently had its ornate wrought-iron gate restored through the efforts of the Friends of Hope and the Coes Family. The broken fence around the plot will be replaced by a reproduction, and it is hoped that the angel and other sculpture will soon be restored.
  The most important portrait in stone, according to Bill, is the 16-foot-high Firemen s Monument, made by Evans & Co. and dedicated in 1896 to honor all Worcester fire fighters for their service to the community. The imposing figure in uniform atop the monument is that of Fire Chief Simon Combs, who led the Fire Department for nearly two decades until 1891.
  More modern portraits on memorials ranged from etched figures of fishermen and athletes to actual photo-graphs attached to monuments by various means. The most unusual modern memorial is the elaborate monument to Ruben Perez (Jan 1942 to Feb. 2002.) Mr. Perez was a well-known restorer of classic cars who also raced them, often winning the Summer Nationals. The granite monument, which bears an portrait of Perez, has been carved by Rex Monuments into the shape of his favorite car, Amigo , a Chevrolet from the 1960s.
  Loved and Lost but Not Forgotten read the words under a carved portrait of a professional boxer. The tour made clear that portraits in stone, from photos of toddlers in the Garden of the Innocents to a color photo under glass of the most marvelous mother in the world , to the harp carved into the imposing monument to music-loving Susan Reed Lawton, a friend of Stephen Salisbury III, are a moving and effective way to celebrate loved ones lives for generations to come.


May 1, 10 AM

Arbor Day Tree Planting with Children
from Gates Lane School
Hope Cemetery

June 12, 4:30 PM

Annual Meeting
Hope Cemetery

Coes Family Plot

The Coes Family Plot Begins Restoration

  The Coes Family Plot is a significant historic plot at Hope Cemetery. Placed on a corner, high on a hill, it is our only fenced and gated plot. For many years it has been in disrepair and the Fannins have done two evaluations, both of which indicated continuing deterioration.
  This fall, Martha Coes Thayer came forward and agreed to have work begin on the plot. Because the fence had one large section missing, a plan was devised to replace the fence but to repair and retain the original gate. The new fence, close in design to the old, was selected by Cookie and Martha and will be built by Colonial Iron Works. At this writing, the work on the gate is completed and the new fence will be installed when weather permits. It is expected to be completed by early spring. We extend our thanks to the Coes family for this important restoration.

Bigelow/Stevens Mausoleum Undergoes a Facelift

  This summer we were contacted by Mr. Peter Taylor, a descendant of the Bigelow/Stevens family, who wished to have repairs made to his family s mausoleum. The mausoleum is located on the circle near the newly restored Houghton Mausoleum and was vandalized with other properties in 1992.The bronze window grate was taken, but, fortunately, they were unable to remove the lovely doors.
  Horace Bigelow was a manufacturer, a real estate developer, and a prominent citizen in Worcester who died in 1911. His daughter married George A. Stevens, a grain merchant and successful business man. After his marriage, Mr. Stevens also managed many real estate holding. Over the years other family members continued to make valuable contributions to Worcester s business community, play an active role in politics, and to donate land for several sporting facilities including the original Worcester, skating rink.
  Steven Striebel has been retained by Mr. Taylor. The mausoleum has been completely cleaned, repairs have been made to the doors, and unbreakable glass has been installed in the doors. Colonial Iron is fabricating a new window grate.
  We are grateful to Mr. Taylor for coming forward and working with us. We are hopeful that in the coming year, we will be able to restore two other mausoleums in this location which are presently boarded up. Mr. Taylor may visit Worcester in the Spring, at which time we will come together to thank him for his interest in Hope Cemetery and his thoughtful contribution

Tomb of Mary Baker Eddy, Mt. Auburn Cemetery

Friends Say Goodbye to Larry Blair

  This fall Larry Blair, Hope Cemetery Director retired after a long career at the cemetery and the forestry department. All of us remember our early days when Larry would assist us in setting up a tent at the Planter s Picnic or try to open stubborn mausoleum doors that had not been opened in many years. A group of Friends, including retired Commissioner Tom Taylor, met at the Webster House and enjoyed a festive lunch in Larry s honor. They presented him with a plaque thanking him for his help and support over the years.

James Norcross Mausoleum Project Is Complete

  The James Norcross Mausoleum, which sits high on a hill in Hope Cemetery, has been completely restored with funds from the Massachusetts Historic Commission and matching funds from our modest capital fund account. The cost of the project was just under $30,000.
  The work was primarily done by Steven Striebel and his crew. We remember Steven from the work he did on the Houghton Mausoleum several years ago.
  The current project included cleaning the exterior, repairing all the joints, replacing vents with mesh, repairs to the interior, and the remaking of the exterior doors/gates which had been stolen in 1992. Working from a photograph taken by the Friends, Colonial Iron was able to replicate the gates in their original design.
  At our October board meeting, we met at the mausoleum to toast the people, including ourselves, who worked so hard to save this historic treasure.

After our Annual Meeting, past and present members of the Board celebrated the tenth anniversary at a dinner. Nicholas Gage, prominent writer and Greek historian, offered this blessing.

A Bridge to Hope

  In my book Eleni, which is about the life and death of my mother, whose remains are interred at Hope Cemetery along with my father s. I quoted the following lines from Thornton Wilder in the dedication:

There is a land of the living and a land of the dead And the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning

  In a way you keep one of those bridges, the one most meaningful to most of us here in Worcester, clear and safe and peaceful so we can walk across it and feel close to those who have left us, those we feel we can reach through the love that bound us in life.
  Of course that love is always with us and we feel their presence whenever we remember them. But we live in a temporal world and we feel closest to them when we can come and stand before a small piece of earth that holds their remains.
  In my faith there is a hymn called a trisagion that is read over the dead: Dear God, grant rest to the soul of your servant, that he (or she) may repose in a place where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing but everlasting peace.
  You have made Hope Cemetery such a place for our loved ones, not for their souls, which are in God s provenance, but for the vessels that held them and for those of us who feel connected to them by love.
  You have done so much to make Hope Cemetery so beautiful and serene, so conducive to clearing our minds of our daily concerns and opening out hearts to memory and love that on behalf of all those who have loved ones there, I want to congratulate you, th honor you and to salute you.

Friends Board of Directors

Ann C. Nelson, President 508-791-6440
Chris T. Liazos,1st Vice President 508-757-7208
Tracy C. Dill, 2nd Vice President 508-799-6802
Mary D. Johnson, Secretary 508-755-1630
Kenneth T. Lundquist, Treasurer 508-754-3105
Directors 2001-02
Barbara A. Booth 508-753-1010
Douglas Butler 508-842-4770
Henry J. Ciborowski 508-753-8720
Joan P. Gage 508-839-6943
Barbara S. Higgins
Thomas N. Ingersoll 508-752-1639
Nancy Johnson 508-852-2627
Alden Reed 508-755-4945
Sally Talbot 508-797-0083
William D. Wallace 508-799-6985
Chester F. Caswell III, Past Pres. 508-852-7171

Letter From the President

Dear Friends.

  As we near the end of the year 2002, we can look back with great pride at the progress we have made at Hope Cemetery. Not only have we completed the work on the Norcross Mausoleum but we are in the process of restoring both the Coes Plot and the Bigalow-Stevens Mausoleum.
  But despite the fact that we are flushed with success, it is important to remember that these things do not come easily or without cost. We hope that we will continue to have funding from the Massachusetts Historical Commission and private donors. We also know that we may have to turn to our membership for further support.
  In the next few months, we will complete research on the Orlando Norcross, the Wesson, and the Prince family mausoleums. All these family mausoleums are in need of work before they incur further deterioration. Future projects for the Friends!
  Meanwhile, I am thankful for my dedicated Board which has worked so hard this year on our projects and programs. Our accomplishments could not happen without their efforts. I wish you all a happy and joyful holiday and thank you for your support of and continued interest in Hope Cemetery.