Twilight Lantern Tour of Charlestown’s Historic Burial Grounds

About this Event

Join the Charlestown Historical Society and the Charlestown Preservation Society for a special walking tour of Charlestown’s Historical Cemeteries: the St. Francis Cemetery, the Bunker Burying Ground and Phipps Street Burying Ground.

The tour will be led by Charlestown resident and Historical Archeologist Dr. Tim Riordian and will feature appearances by historical figures in period attire.

The tour begins at 3:30 p.m. at St. Francis Cemetery that was established in 1830. Currently part of the St. Francis de Sales parish complex, this “Irish Cemetery,” as it has been called, is one of the oldest Catholic graveyards in New England with at least 9,000 “souls” buried there. Hundreds of those buried between 1845 and 1850 were children of the Irish potato famine.

The next stop is the Bunker Hill Burying Ground, Charlestown’s second oldest burial ground. The property lies on the site crossed by British fortifications during the Battle of Bunker Hill and it was founded in response to Charlestown’s rapid renaissance after the Revolutionary War. Originally intended for the use of the Charlestown poor, the presence of individual grave markers indicates that persons of greater means are buried there as well.

The tour will conclude at dusk at the Phipps Street Burying Ground, founded in 1630 and is one Boston’s seven seventeenth-century burying grounds. Charlestown’s founding fathers designated the land as the town burying place. Many contributors to the growth of our nation are also buried here, including Nathaniel Gorham, a signer of the Constitution and president of the Continental Congress; and Thomas Beecher, one of the first settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Some of the most influential Charlestown families, including the Frothinghams, Hurds, Harvards, Phipps, Russells, and Hunnewells, were laid to rest here. Our tour will be joined by Phineas Pratt, who arrived 1622, and is buried at Phipps and is known for his treacherous trek to Plymouth to warn Myles Standish of the Indian uprising.

Ticket sales benefit the Charlestown Historical Society, the Charlestown Preservation Society and the refurbishment of Charlestown’s Peace Park.

Date And Time

Sat, October 19, 2019

3:30 PM – 6:30 PM EDT


Saint Francis de Sales Parish

303 Bunker Hill Street

Boston, MA 02129

Admission is $19. To order tickets