Joyce Chen (1917 – 1994)

September 6, 2017

By Helen and Stephen Chen

Celebrated restaurateur, cookbook author, culinary television personality, and entrepreneur Joyce Chen was born in Beijing, China on September 14, 1917 and grew up in a highly-regarded family in Jiangsu Jiading, a suburb of Shanghai. She was the youngest in a family of nine children and acquired her English name from her school teacher, who gave her the name Joyce because she was always joyful.

As recounted in her cookbook, the Joyce Chen Cook Book, Chen was always interested in cooking and was encouraged by her mother to learn from the family chef so she “wouldn’t eat raw rice…”

Chen fled the communist regime in 1949 with her husband, Thomas, and their two small children. On the recommendation from Chen’s relative, a Harvard-educated Chinese journalist, they settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, living first on Kirkland Street and a few years later on Alpine Street near Fresh Pond. Soon Chinese graduate students from Harvard, MIT, and Boston University flocked to Chen’s family home to socialize and enjoy the cuisine of Shanghai and Beijing that they missed in America. (more…)

William Brewster (1851-1919)

June 24, 2017

Born in Wakefield, Massachusetts, William Brewster was born on July 5, 1851, and went on to become a noted ornithologist.

A descendant of Massachusetts pilgrims, Brewster was educated in the Cambridge public school system and spent his childhood observing birds. He had planned to attend Harvard College, but his weak eyesight and poor health deterred him from pursuing a career in business. He instead studied ornithology and practiced taxidermy, the evidence of which can be seen at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Brewster recorded the diverse bird life in Cambridge, Concord, and greater New England, collecting local and international specimens. He helped organize the Nuttall Ornithological Club (1873) and the American Ornithologists’ Union (1883), serving as president for both groups. He later served as the first president of the Massachusetts Audubon Society following its formation in 1896.


Veterans Monument Preservation

May 8, 2017

Through a combination of words and imagery, veterans’ memorials found throughout Mount Auburn contribute to the telling of American history and the service of men and women in times of war. You can now access information about a group of nine veterans of the Civil War and World War I, and the details of their monuments at Mount Auburn, through our new mobile app.

York Lot 6228

The Friends of Mount Auburn is currently fundraising to conserve these memorials, all of which offer unique contributions to our understanding of Massachusetts and American military history. We have received a challenge grant of $7,500 from the Massachusetts Archives, and are seeking funds to match it one-to-one.

To support this project, please visit and select “Veterans Preservation” on the list of donation options. Thank you for helping us preserve these monuments to military heroes for future generations of visitors!