Gardens at Gethsemane Cemetery, West Roxbury
About Gardens at Gethsemane Cemetery, West Roxbury
The Gardens Cemetery is nestled within the 179 acre Historic Brook Farm in Boston, Massachusetts. John Elliot preached to the Native Americans on Pulpit Rock. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne spent summers here. We are also on the site of Camp Andrews, a civil war training grounds for the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry. A cannon from the USS constitution placed at the cemetery in 1932 commemorates all Veterans.
In 1870, Gottlieb F. Burkhardt, a German immigrant and wealthy Boston brewer, purchased the Brook Farm property, and in 1871 formed a corporation called the “Association of the Evangelical Lutheran Church for Works of Mercy”. He did this to provide a temporary home for orphan children and aged, weak and helpless persons, and to establish a cemetery. The cemetery was laid out and officially named Gethsemane Cemetery in March of 1873.
From its inception, the cemetery has been (and remains) non-sectarian, and has no religious or residential requirements.
In the fall of 2002, Alan J. MacKinnon, CCE & current President, joined with loving and caring people from the community and formed a non-profit organization which purchased the cemetery from the Lutheran Social Services of New England. Mr. MacKinnon started his career at Gethsemane Cemetery in Boston over 30 years ago, first as grounds foreman for 5 years, then as general manager for 7 years.
Alan is designated as a Certified Cemetery Executive and is a graduate of the International Cemetery Cremation and Funeral Association University. He is currently one of five in the entire state of Massachusetts and has served as Secretary/Treasurer on the board of the Massachusetts Cemetery Association.