President ’ s Corner
The theme of this issue of Sweet Auburn , “ A Landscape of Lives ,” reminds us that Mount Auburn is a terrain full of stories of the lives of those buried here . One of the many wonderful things about Mount Auburn Cemetery is that the memories and stories of thousands of families and individuals are preserved here in stone . Some of these stories — those of our most notable residents — are well known , but most are only known to the families themselves .
Beginning on the opening page with “ The People of Roberto Mighty ’ s earth . sky ,” the articles in this issue highlight some of the many ways that the stories of the lives of Mount Auburn ’ s residents have been preserved or even rediscovered . Many of the stories might have been completely forgotten were it not for the valuable archival records that Mount Auburn has maintained since 1831 , and the research efforts of staff , volunteers , and colleagues .
In addition to being a repository of stories of the lives of those interred here , Mount Auburn ’ s landscape also reflects the lives and actions of the many who have worked here — from the nineteenth-century founders to the current staff , trustees , and volunteers .
In the last issue of Sweet Auburn , I wrote in my President ’ s Corner that “ I wish I could sit around a table and have a conversation with Jacob Bigelow , Henry Dearborn and the rest of Mount Auburn ’ s founders to see what they think about the place they envisioned and created in 1831 . I assume they would be quite pleased .”
On September 24 , 2016 , as we celebrated the 185th anniversary of the founding of Mount Auburn Cemetery , I got my wish ! Dr . Jacob Bigelow ( portrayed by actor Jim Cooke ) himself appeared at our celebration , dressed for the occasion , to join me in leading a tour of the grounds . We stopped at his grave to talk about the landscape improvements just completed around his monument . From there we walked to Consecration Dell , where so many years ago Cemetery co-founder Joseph Story gave the address consecrating Mount Auburn as the first rural cemetery in the nation . ( see photos below )
At the end of the tour , Dr . Bigelow enthusiastically stated ,“ I am so pleased to come back today and see that our vision continues to be carried out . And I appreciate the work of all who maintain the grounds and support the Cemetery .” His words reminded me of the value of the work we do and gave me a warm , fuzzy feeling . They also made me so proud of our great team of dedicated staff , trustees , volunteers , and supporters who are passionate about carrying out our mission of “ inspiring all who visit , comforting the bereaved , and commemorating the dead in a landscape of exceptional beauty .”
I look forward to carrying out our important mission for yet another year in 2017 . Cheers ,
David P . Barnett President & CEO
Dave and Dr . Jacob Bigelow ( portrayed by actor Jim Cooke ) at the 185 th anniversary of the founding of Mount Auburn Cemetery on September 24 , 2016 .
2017 Volume 1 | 1