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Cambridge Cemetery sign with american flags on each grave marker

Cambridge Cemetery

Public Works

The Cemetery Division is responsible for gravesite preparation, burial services, landscaping, maintenance, and customer service at the Cambridge Cemetery's 66-acre site on Coolidge Avenue. The cemetery is the resting place for Medal of Honor recipients, prominent literary figures, and countless others.

Cemetery operations include burials, flower, and tree planting; landscaping; and repair of historical monuments. Tree planting and perennial island development to add pastoral beauty to open space in the cemetery has been a particular focus in recent years. The cemetery has also continued to incorporate sustainable practices into its operations, including using rain barrels for watering where feasible, mulching leaves on site, and not requiring cement vaults for burials.

Hours of Operation:

The cemetery is open daily for visitors during the summer season from 7AM to dusk and during the winter season from 7AM until 5PM. The cemetery office is open from 7AM-3PM M-F to provide information and customer service. 

Interment Information: 

Cemetery staff are committed to providing excellent burial services and maintenance, and to providing sensitive customer service to families who are going through the process of planning a funeral. Lots in the Cemetery are available only to Cambridge residents, wishing to make arrangements for the immediate burial of a Cambridge resident. Information regarding ownership, fees, cremation and monuments can be found below in the FAQ section.  

Notable Burials:

The Cambridge Cemetery is the resting place of Medal of Honor recipients Joseph F. Scott and Alphonso M. Lunt, prominent literary figures Henry and William James and William Dean Howells, Baseball Hall of Famers John Clarkson and Timothy Keefe, and other notable Cantabridgians.

Old Burial Ground:

The Old Burial Ground in Harvard Square was established around 1635 just inside the city limits and served as the only cemetery in Cambridge for 200 years. Burial spaces in the early years were not permanently marked and contain many more remains than the 1,218 established graves. Most of the monuments are slate headstones with scalloped shoulders.

Additional Information

There is a special section of the Cambridge Cemetery specifically dedicated to Veterans. Authorization to be buried in this section must be confirmed by the City of Cambridge Veterans' Services.

Are concrete liners or vaults required for interments at the Cambridge Cemetery?

No, concrete liners or vaults are not required.

Are there any exceptions to the Cambridge residency rule?

Yes, if the deceased was in a nursing home at the time of death and their last address was in Cambridge before entering the facility, then they are eligible for a lot at the Cambridge Cemetery.

Can I purchase a grave before a death occurs?

Lots in the Cambridge Cemetery are not sold for future use. Lots are sold to persons wishing to make arrangements for the immediate burials of a Cambridge resident only. The above rule does not apply to lots previously purchased, in which case the owner of the lot may request that a person be interred therein whether or not they are residents of Cambridge.

The purchase price of every interment space and perpetual care on such space must be paid in full before a deed or certificate of ownership is issued, a burial made or a monument placed.

Persons whose names appear on our records as owners are recognized as owners of interment spaces and grantees and other owners are advised to record their ownership immediately with the Superintendent of Cemeteries.

All owners of interment space are advised to notify us of changes in address as all notices are sent to the last address on file and shall be conclusively presumed to be sufficient.

Can I purchase a grave if I don't live in Cambridge?

No, we only sell graves at the time of death and the deceased must be a Cambridge resident.

Do you have cremation lots?

Yes, cremation lots accommodate two cremation burials and are memorialized by a flat marker. Cremation lots are in-ground urn lots that will accommodate two urn burials. Memorialization on these cremation lots can be by flat markers only (no greater than 2' x 1' x4"), and there can be no planting on these lots.

As with other lots in the Cemetery, cremation lots will be sold only at the time of death and the deceased must be a Cambridge resident.

Does the Cemetery offer a payment plan?

No, all charges must be paid in full at the time of the burial.

How do I purchase a lot at the Cambridge Cemetery?

Lots in the Cambridge Cemetery are not sold for future use. Lots are sold to persons wishing to make arrangements for the immediate burial of a Cambridge resident only. If a lot was previously purchased, the owner of that lot may request that a person be interred whether or not they are a Cambridge resident.

Is there a separate section for Veterans?

Yes, there is a special veterans' section at the Cemetery. Authorization to be buried in this section must be confirmed by the City of Cambridge Veterans' Department.

What are the fees associated with interment?

The Cambridge Cemetery Fees are as follows:

    Prices effective April 15, 2023                 Price
    Single Grave (2 interments)
    Cremation Lot (4 Graves) $640.00  
    Cremation Lot (2 Graves)
    Recording Deed
  Cremation Interment
$90.00 per sq. ft
   Foundations Cremation Lots
 (2 Graves)
    Perpetual Care (per grave)
    Perpetual Care (Cremation Lot)
    Veteran's Lot
No Charge  
    Interment of child under 8
    Stillborn - Public Lot
    Stillborn - Private Lot
    Lowering of remains
    Overtime (Weekday after 2:00 PM)
    Weekend (7:00 AM - 11:00 AM)
    Weekend (11:00 AM - 2:00 PM)
    Shrub Removal
    Cremation Mock Setup


What is the process for installing a monument?

A completed monument form and payment must be submitted. The monument order form can be downloaded, or obtained from the Cemetery Administration office and from most local businesses that sell cemetery monuments.

Once the monument dimensions and engraving work is finalized and approved, the monument company will forward the order form to the cemetery. The order form must be signed by the owner of the cemetery lot to be valid. All foundations must be paid for before monuments are set.

What type of planting can I do on a grave?

You can plant flowers in front of the headstone, out one foot and the width of the stone (no shrubs). See full planting regulations for more information.
Page was posted on 11/14/2019 1:51 PM
Page was last modified on 5/23/2024 9:58 AM
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