Destination List > Granary Burying Ground

Granary Burying Ground

Photo by Rusty Clark

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The history...

The Granary Burying Ground is the 3rd oldest cemetery in Boston. Established in 1660, there are over 2300 grave markers and about 5000 people buried here. 

Some of the people buried here include:

  • John Hancock
  • Paul Revere
  • Samuel Adams
  • Robert Treat Paine
  • James Otis
  • Benjamin Franklin’s parents
  • The 5 victims of the Boston Massacre

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Robert Treat Paine all signed the Declaration of Independence. James Otis, an early supporter of the Patriots, coined the phrase “Taxation without Representation is tyranny.”

The Puritan Churches did not believe in religious icons or imagery. It was only when someone died when they would show their beliefs about the afterlife through carvings on the gravestones. As you look around you will still see these carvings on the stones today. 

Fun Fact

Livestock grazing on Boston Common was used to cut the grass. The headstones where later reorganized into rows during the Victorian era to make it easier to cut the grass using modern technology - the lawn mower. 

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