Walnut Street Cemetery Central View


Established as Brookline's first burying ground in 1717 on a half acre of land. Served as the town's only burying ground for a hundred and forty years. Enlarged by three quarter acres and redesigned as a rural cemetery in 1840. Active use spans two hundred years.

Notable interments include: Mary Boylston (1722), great-grandmother of President John Adams; Anna Mather (1737), second wife of Puritan minister Increase Mather; Edward Devotion (1744), benefactor of Brookline schools; Zabdiel Boylston (1766), pioneer of smallpox inoculation; Samuel Philbrick (1859), abolitionist; and Francis Channing Barlow (1896), Civil War General and New York State Attorney General. A monument to Hugh Walker Ogden (1938), World War I Colonel and presider over hearings on the Boston 1919 molasses disaster is also present.

Additional Information

Old Stones (Old Burying Ground section, mostly before 1820)

Tombs (mostly late eighteenth – early nineteenth century)

Lots (partial listing; enlarged Walnut Street Cemetery section, after 1840)

Burials and Inscriptions (compiled in 1920)

Slavery in Brookline (Commemorative Stone, 2009)

All Hallows Gravestone Hunt 2010, 2009

History - Guide booklet by the Friends of the Old Burying Ground (2006)

History - Brookline Historical Society presentation (1901)

Preservation Plan (Massachusetts Historic Cemeteries Preservation Initiative, 1999)

Cook Fence Restoration (2014)

North Tomb Row Restoration (2014)

Conservation Work by Fannin-Lehner