Copp's Hill Burying Ground – Boston, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Copp's Hill Burying Ground

This landmark cemetery in Boston was created more than 300 years ago. 


Copp’s Hill is one of America’s oldest cemeteries. The site is named for Mr. Copp, a local shoemaker whose name will forever go down in history as the original owner of this large plot of land.

Although it’s just the second oldest burial ground in Boston, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground was founded an astonishing three and a half centuries ago, in 1659. The site has some of Boston’s legendary residents underneath its turf, and thousands of ordinary men and women who lived during Boston’s formative years.

Boston’s questionably named “New Guinea” region, so named for the large Black population residing there, was located near Copp’s Hill. The Snowhill Street section of the graveyard holds the unmarked plots for many of the city’s earliest Black population, which was made up of formerly enslaved people.

Much of Boston has been reformed, filled in, or lopped off: the land at Copp’s Hill actually used to rise up, befitting of its name, but was sheared during one of the many construction projects that created the city we know today. 

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