By Chapter 375 of the Acts of 1897, the Mayor was authorized to appoint a board of five trustees, subject to confirmation by the Board of Aldermen, to have charge of Mount Hope Cemetery and all other burying grounds owned by or in charge of the City of Boston.
Mount Hope Cemetery was bought by the City in 1857 for $35,000 and additional land has been purchased since. It is situated on Walk Hill Street. The Board of Trustees was first appointed under the ordinance passed December 21, 1857.
All burying grounds which were formerly under the control of the Board of Health were transferred to the jurisdiction of the Cemetery Department. They included the following: Benington street, East Boston, 157,500 square feet. Bunker Hill, Charlestown, 48,202 square feet. Central, Boston Common, 60,693 square feet. Copp’s Hill, Charter and Hull streets, 89,015 square feet. Dorchester North, Upham’s Corner, 142,587 square feet. Dorchester South, Dorchester avenue, 95,462 square feet. Eliot, Washington and Eustis streets, 34,830 square feet. Evergreen, Commonwealth avenue, Brighton, 604,520 square feet. Fairview, Hyde Park, 50 acres. Granary, Tremont street, opposite Bromfield street, 82,063 square feet. Hawes, Emerson street, near L street, 11,232 square feet. King’s Chapel, Tremont street, near School street, 19,344 square feet. Market Street, Market street, Brighton, 18,072 square feet. Mount Hope, Walk Hill street, 117 acres and 36,536 square feet. Phipps Street, Charlestown, 76,740 square feet. Rainsford Island, 43,560 square feet. South End, Washington and East Concord streets, 64,570 square feet. Walter Street, Walter street, Roslindale, 35,100 square feet. Warren, Kearsarge avenue, Roxbury, 54,400 square feet. Westerly, Centre street, West Roxbury, 39,450 square feet.
In 1920, the Cemetery Department was merged with the Park Department, the latter title being substituted for Park and Recreation Department. On May 1, 1954, the department became the Parks and Recreation Department.
The Cemetery Division is responsible for providing burial services for City of Boston residents. The division manages burial records for over 250,000 grave sites and maintains approximately 200 acres of cemetery land. The three active cemeteries are Mount Hope Cemetery, Fairview Cemetery and Evergreen Cemetery.