J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Dedication of Dr. Joseph Warren Graveside Statue, 22 Oct.

On Saturday, 22 October, a local group of Freemasons will host a ceremony to dedicate a new statue of Dr. Joseph Warren at his latest gravesite in Forest Hills Cemetery.

Those Freemasons, working with Warren descendants and the cemetery, commissioned the statue from Robert Shure of Skylight Studios in Woburn. Its general design is inspired by the Paul Wayland Bartlett statue of Warren which Boston originally installed in Warren Square and is now at the Roxbury Latin School, as discussed here.

Warren biographer Sam Forman has shared Robert Vartanian’s article about the creation of this new statue on his website, starting here.

The dedication ceremony will take place at the gravesite, rain or shine. There will be no seating, so anyone who attends will have to be able to stand for up to two hours. There will be remarks by the local Masonic Grand Master and a representative of the Warren family, and “a Masonic carpet ceremony.”

I understand the public is welcome to attend this dedication ceremony. However, the organizers also ask people to register in advance so they can tell the cemetery how many people to expect. Registering starts by going to this site, but the only way to register there appears to require being a Freemason or knowing the movement’s imagery. (Flyers about the ceremony saying “public invited” cycle through the event announcements on the right side of that page.)

ADDENDUM: Here’s the Eventbrite page for registering to attend if one is not a Freemason.

The address of the cemetery for driving purposes is 95 Forest Hills Avenue in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston.


Jim Padian said...

Wondered if mention of the new Warren statue might appear in your blog. Suggested the Grand Lodge ought to have invited the Grand Lodge of Scotland to send a representative given Warren's close ties. Have not heard back. The Grand Lodges of Ireland and France probably should also have been invited. All well, we have a new Warren statue in a place few will ever see. Mount Warren and Warren's gravesite are not the easiest to find in Forrest Hills Cemetery.

J. L. Bell said...

The only way to make a graveside statue more visible would be to move Dr. Warren's body again.

D Hayes said...

The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is the state organization of the Freemasons in Mass. A "local group" of Freemasons would be an individual lodge based in a community such as the City of Boston which itself has more than one lodge. Dr. Warren was an important leader of Freemasonry in colonial times as well as in the Revolution.

J. L. Bell said...

This statue and ceremony are primarily a project of the 6th Masonic District within the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. I didn't think the public needed to know that level of detail.

J. L. Bell said...

Since posting this, I've heard that the organizers are expecting 400 people. Because there is not unlimited parking, they ask attendees to carpool or use public transportation. Attendees don't need tickets/registration now that the organizers and cemetery understand the likely size of the turnout.

G. Lovely said...

There's a printable map of Forest Hills Cemetery here:


Warren's grave is at the spot marked with the letter "B".

Donald Carleton, Jr. said...

I must confess the Warren memorial as shown in the photograph seems rather un-monumental.

And I am wondering what sort of material the statue might have been cast/molded from. It looks rather like unglazed terra cotta in the photo, except for the sword.

I would think Dr. Warren would deserve bronze, at any rate!

J. L. Bell said...

Thanks to everyone who provided additional information!

J. L. Bell said...

Skylight Studios does work in bronze.

R.Vartanian said...

My friends - I appreciate all your comments. The sixth Masonic District is one of the several districts under the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. As a member of the core group, I can assure you that if it weren’t for the perseverance of our team, nothing would have been accomplished. With the support of several lodges both within and outside our district, other Masonic bodies and personal donations, a six foot four BRONZE statue of General and Most Worshipful Joseph Warren now stands. If you have a bit of time, go visit it (the gravesite is about a 5 minute walk up the hill from the offices). I'm sure you'll be impressed. The dedication of the statue was most impressive. If you were there, I’m sure you would agree. As far as the invitee list, we reached out to several different people including the press. Unfortunately the knowledge of the General isn't at the level of some of his contemporaries. With efforts like the 6th Masonic District's, our hope is to educate a whole new generation of people to his historic significance. It was a most satisfying experience. Please comment back after you have visited the statue.