The Lowell Cemetery is a non-municipal and non-denominational cemetery. 

77 Knapp Ave, Lowell, MA 01852 | 978-454-5191

Lowell Cemetery Timeline

1840 - 1848
1850 - 1874
1884 - 1896
1903 - 1960
1981 - Present


A "Committee of Five" local businessman, led by James G. Carney, comes together to consider the development of a privately run cemetery.


In January, Oliver M. Whipple, Esq., deeds 43 acres of land in the Fort Hill area to the newly formed Proprietors of the Lowell Cemetery for the sum of $5,000

The Cemetery is laid out based on a design by George P. Worcester.

The Lowell Cemetery officially opens to the public on June 20 with much fanfare -- a parade, a band and speeches.

It is believed Abigail R. Brown is the first person interred in lot #422.


The Lowell Corporation Hospital purchases a large lot for those who succumb to illness in the hospital and whose families cannot afford burial.

The "Ladies of the City" raise $444 for an entrance gate. The funds are deposited in a bank but not put to use until 1861.


The Mechanics Phalanx, a military unit, purchases lots and has them consecrated.


An octagonal -shaped chapel is built on the property at a cost of $750.


Cemetery Trustees acquire 3-1/2 acres of adjacent land.


Cemetery builds greenhouses for the convenience of its lot owners.


Trust funds for the care and maintenance of the lots are established.


Elizabeth Lewis purchases a ten-grave lot. The first burial is for her husband Walker, an African American.


Another fundraiser is held for an entrance gate. Monies collected, along with funds raised in 1842, are enough for the construction in 1862 of a granite gateway, designed by C.W. Painter.


Cemetery Trustees acquire an additional 30 acres.


Lowell and Andover Railroad (L&ARR) line is built alongside a Cemetery border. L&ARR claims some Cemetery land by eminent domain.


Mrs. Ann Gage is the first woman elected to the Board of Trustees, but she declines to serve.


Mr. Charles Potts Talbot funds the replacement of the 1848 octagonal chapel with a new, Gothic-style, granite structure at a cost of $2,714.


Mrs. Hocum Hosford, in memory of her husband Hocum, funds the addition of a bell tower and bell to the existing 1861 granite entrance gate.


The remains of Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor recipient John C. McFarland ( d. 1841) are interred along with three other Civil War veterans in the Lowell Cemetery’s Grand Army of the Republic lot.


Louisa Wells, a former mill girl, dies and requests, in her will, that any residue from her estate be used to erect a monument on her grave. Her family contests it and, after a long legal battle, loses in the courts. The "Mill Girl" monument, created by Evelyn Longman of the Daniel Chester French Studio, is erected and dedicated in 1906.


A Gothic-style, granite administrative building, designed by Frederick Stickney, is built at the Lawrence Street entrance. Today it serves as an exhibition area of Lowell Cemetery artifacts and ephemera in collaboration with the Lowell Historical Society.


Cemetery Trustees acquire 9-1/2 acres along McAlwin Street that are surrendered at the request of F.B. Shedd for the adjacent Shedd Park.

Renowned British sculptor Price Joy is commissioned to create the James C. Ayer monument. The lion, made of Italian marble, is arguably the Cemetery's most recognized monument.


The Egyptian-styled Receiving Tomb, funded by Freeman B. Shedd in memory of his son, is completed.


Lot owners without trust funds are now charged annual fees for lot maintenance.


The explosion at the nearby U.S. Cartridge Company causes damage to the Cemetery's gravestones and trees.


The Knapp Street entrance gateway is completed and opened


Lot maintenance trust funds and annual fees are eliminated and replaced by a perpetual care endowment, with monies coming from the sale of each lot.


On-site greenhouses are discontinued.


Edith Nourse Rogers, the first woman to be elected to Congress from Massachusetts and a powerful advocate for veterans, is buried in the Lowell Cemetery next to her husband, Congressman (Massachusetts) John Jacob Rogers.


Catherine Goodwin conducts the first walking tours of the Cemetery.


Catherine Goodwin is elected to the Board of Trustees and is the first woman to serve.


U.S. Senator and 1992 presidential candidate Paul E. Tsongas is buried in the Lowell Cemetery.


The Lowell Cemetery is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.


The new administrative building on Knapp Avenue is opened.


The Oliver M. Whipple Columbarium and Garden of Remembrance is completed and dedicated.

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