Famous People Buried at Forest Hills

Forest Hills is a place dedicated to memory. Here, it is possible to connect with the inspiring stories of people whose "lives well lived" reflect the rich and diverse history of New England. Artists and writers, entrepreneurs and inventors, social reformers and government leaders are buried here. The Forest Hills Educational Trust seeks to celebrate these individuals for their lives of creativity and accomplishment through walking tours and special programs.

A short list of some of the notable people buried or memorialized at Forest Hills is below.

  • Poets e.e. cummings and Anne Sexton.
  • Playwright Eugene O'Neill and his wife Carlotta.
  • Sculptors Martin Milmore and Thomas Ridgeway Gould, and the husband-and-wife painters Philip Leslie Hale and Lilian Westcott Hale.
  • Abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison, William Cooper Nell, and Lysander Spooner.
  • Composer Amy Beach, one of the first women to have a symphony performed in America; Oliver Ditson, 19th century America's most successful music publisher; Joseph "Wally" Walcott, whose Wally's Jazz Cafe has presented Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughn, and Branford Marsalis; and Elma Lewis, cultural activist and educator.
  • Suffragette and abolitionist Lucy Stone, who was the first person cremated in New England, at what is now the Forest Hills Crematory.
  • Self-made millionaires and philanthropists Andrew Carney, George Robert White, and Eben Jordan.
  • Pioneering activists and professionals in medicine, women's healthcare and women's professional education, including Dr. Marie Zakrzewska, surgeon Susan Dimock, and America's first trained nurse, Linda Richards.
  • Revolutionary war hero Dr./Major General Joseph Warren, author of the Suffolk Resolves and William Dawes, Jr., the first rider sent out by Joseph Warren before Paul Revere to mobilize the colonists and warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock of the British troops approaching Boston.
  • Francis Cabot Lowell, the textile magnate often called the Father of the Industrial Revolution, for whom the city of Lowell is named.
  • Clockmaker Simon Willard, fountain pen inventor Lewis Waterman, and bicycle manufacturer and popularizer Albert Pope.

For more information about the people buried at Forest Hills, take a walking tour led by one of our expert guides, or purchase a copy of Garden of Memories, our guidebook by Susan Wilson.

Special Projects
The Trust's Historian-in-Residence Al Maze, has been researching the many notable people buried at Forest Hills for more than 14 years. He leads regular walking tours here and has started developing Stories Behind The Stones, a section for the website with information about some of the most interesting people he has researched.

During its long history, Forest Hills has been an important cemetery for the African American community. Prominent individuals such as William Cooper Nell, Elma Lewis, and Joseph "Wally" Walcott (see below) are buried here. However, we do not have a comprehensive list of notable African Americans buried here, in part because the Cemetery's records do not include race or ethnicity. In 2009, with support from Mass. Humanities, the Trust began a project called Finding the Voices in the Silence and engaged Scholar-in-Residence Sylvia McDowell to begin researching Black history at Forest Hills. If you know someone interesting buried at Forest Hills and would like their story become part of the Trust's tours and/or interpretive materials, please fill out a Nomination Form and send it in to us. We hope to integrate some of these individuals into existing interpretive materials and tours and to develop an African American Heritage Guide in the future.

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