Renovations At Mount Wollaston Cemetery Include New Gate, Entrance At Sea Street

Renovations are underway at historic Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Mayor Thomas Koch announces.  Improvements will include a new gate and entrance at Sea Street, new tree plantings, safety improvements, and renovations to the perimeter granite wall.

The new decorative wrought-iron Gothic style entrance gate will represent the period which the cemetery was originally Consecrated in 1855.  The entrance gate is 25 feet high by 85 feet wide and will accommodate vehicles and pedestrians alike.  The ornamental iron gate is being fabricated by Robinson Iron in Alexander City, Alabama.

A large portion of the original Gothic Revival Briggs cemetery gate was removed in 1960 to allow for modern vehicles to pass in and out of the Sea Street gate.  The gate provided the signature entrance to this historic burial ground for more than 100 years.

“Mount Wollaston Cemetery captures our city’s history better than any single location in a very historic city,” said Mayor Koch.  “The beauty of the granite works throughout Mount Wollaston is akin to an art museum and showcases the advances in the granite industry that originated in Quincy but can now be found around the world.

“We are attempting to restore the intended splendor of this sacred ground and honor the aesthetic intentions of the original cemetery. This is one of the most important properties in our city and should be afforded the prominence and respect that it deserves,” Koch added.

With the assistance of Cong. Stephen Lynch, a Federal ARPA grant was secured for the project.  The estimated project cost for all of the improvements is just under $3 million.

Mount Wollaston Cemetery was developed in 1854 after the Hancock Cemetery in Quincy Center reached its capacity.  The cemetery was designed by Luther Briggs as a garden cemetery modeled after Mount Auburn Cemetery and Forest Hills Cemetery.  A gothic revival theme was chosen for the architecture.

The first two plots at Mount Wollaston Cemetery were purchased by Charles Francis Adams Sr., son of President John Quincy Adams.

The lowest bid for the project was submitted by MJ Nichols who will be working with Foulsham Corporation to perform the work.  Local architect James Edwards of Edwards and Holmes assisted the mayor in the design of the new gate.  The planting plan and palette were designed by Landscape Architect Craig Halvorson.

The entrance to the cemetery off Sea Street will be narrowed for pedestrian safety, officials said.  The existing wide driveway mouth allows cars to turn at higher rates of speed into the cemetery entrance. This change will also allow for limited additional burials in the Veterans Section of Mount Wollaston once the project is completed.

Work will also include realigning the war monuments at Mount Wollaston in chronological order. The World War II Monument will be provided more prominence by removing the stone podium that currently blocks it from view.  Later in 2023, the city will be dedicating a new monument in the Veterans Section paying tribute to the men and women who served the nation’s military in the various wars from Desert Storm (1990) through the current day War on Terror.  This project will help provide space for that monument.

The Cemetery Board of Managers has been working with the design team since the inception of this project.  The all-volunteer Board of Managers consists of Paul Mauriello (chairperson), George Bouchard (vice chairperson), Linda Perchard, Jim Nichols, John Norton, Susan Kindregan and Robert LaFleur.

“Mount Wollaston Cemetery was designed as a sacred and beautiful place and we must continue to honor the intentions of the designers of this historic burial ground,” said Commissioner of Natural Resources Dave Murphy.  “The new entrance gate will augment the beauty of the public art throughout Mount Wollaston Cemetery and pay respect to the tens of thousands of Quincy residents interred therein.  I want to thank the project team for designing a truly remarkable project that will add to the prestige and beauty of Mount Wollaston.”

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