Friday, June 23, 2017

Grave of a Famous Person: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. - Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Watertown, MA

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Watertown, MA

N 42° 22.350 W 071° 08.486

Short Description: 

The grave of poet, novelist, biographer, and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Is located along Lime Avenue in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Watertown, MA.

Long Description:

The grave of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. and his wife Amelia Lee Jackson is marked by a five sided stone marker which is inscribed:

Born August 22, 1809
Died October 7, 1894


wife of
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Born May 22, 1818
Died Feb. 6, 1888

Note: Someone took the trouble to lay a Chambered Nautilus by the grave; a reference his famous poem which is a staple of high school English classes.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. was a polymath. He was a poet, novelist, biographer, essayist, and a physician. He was born on August 29, 1809 in Cambridge, MA, graduated from the Phillips Academy, Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. He wrote poetry at an early age and his most famous poem "Old Ironsides" was published when he was only 21, in 1830. The poem was influential is the saving of the USS Constitution, now the oldest commissioned ship in the world.

Holmes, along with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Cullen Bryant, John Greenleaf Whittier, and James Russell Lowell were members of the Fireside Poets. A group of American poets whose works rivaled those of English poets. He often published his works in The Atlantic Monthly.

Selected list of works from Wikipedia:


Old Ironsides
The Chambered Nautilus
Songs in Many Keys

Medical and psychological studies

Puerperal Fever as a Private Pestilence
Mechanism in Thought and Morals

Table-talk books

The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
The Professor at the Breakfast-Table
The Poet at the Breakfast-Table
Over the Teacups


Elsie Venner (1861)
The Guardian Angel (1867)
A Mortal Antipathy (1885)


"The Stereoscope and the Stereograph", The Atlantic Monthly, volume 6 (1859)
"Sun-painting and sun-sculpture", The Atlantic Monthly, volume 8 (July 1861)
"Doings of the sun-beam", The Atlantic Monthly, volume 12 (July 1863)

Biographies and travelogue:

John Lothrop Motley, A Memoir (1876)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1884)
Our Hundred Days in Europe (1887)

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