About Forest Hills Cemetery

Forest Hills is one of America's most lovely rural garden cemeteries. It is also a unique Boston cultural resource and historic site. Its 250 acres offer the public a magnificent arboretum, open air museum, and tranquil sanctuary just minutes away from downtown Boston. The cemetery grounds are open every day from 7:30 am until dusk, and the public is welcome to visit.

The Trust sponsors a variety of events which explore the history, art, and spiritual qualities of this magnificent and much loved landscape. Walking tours, exhibitions, special events, concerts and poetry readings are listed in the Calendar of Events; you can also sign up on the calendar page for e-mail updates and reminders.

Forest Hills is an active cemetery serving the community with Boston's most beautiful place for burial and memorialization. Information about these services is available at www.foresthillscemetery.com or by calling the main office at 617.524.0128. We ask that visitors keep in mind that this place is sacred to many families. While strolling, picnics, bicycling and quiet recreational activities are permitted, please respect the serenity that is so essential to this contemplative environment.

Additional Resources

Garden of Memories, a comprehensive guidebook to Forest Hills by photographer and historian Susan Wilson, offers a lively account of the art and history of the cemetery. It contains six walking tours which introduce visitors to the stories of some of the most prominent people buried here.

Finding Voices in the Silence: With support from Mass. Humanities, Sylvia McDowell is the Trust's 2009 Scholar-in-Residence. Sylvia is identifying and researching prominent African Americans buried at Forest Hills. The project is called "Finding Voices in the Silence" because the stories of Boston's African Americans at Forest Hills are not currently being told. You can help us recover these stories by suggesting notable people for further research! Because Forest Hills' records do not include information about race, we are seeking "Nominations" from the public in order to identify individuals whose life stories will help us to better represent the history of Boston's Black community. If you know any individuals – community leaders, influential teachers or activists, accomplished artists or musicians, business people or professionals – whose life made a difference and offers inspiration, please let us know by nominating them. More information and nomination forms.

Stories Behind the Stones: Al Maze, the Trust's volunteer Historian-in-Residence, has started creating a section on this website called which contains information about some of the notable people he has been researching over the last 10 years.

Victorian Sculpture: Scholars' Tour: Elise Ciregna, the Trust's Scholar-in-Residence in 2006-2007, developed a virtual tour of some of the fascinating carved gravestones and memorial sculpture at Forest Hills. This initiative was funded by the Mass. Foundation for the Humanities.

Anthony Sammarco, a Trustee of the Trust and the author of more than 50 books on Boston history, is currently working on a book about Forest Hills which will be published by Arcadia Press in 2009.