Well House Constructed Near Entrance Gate

June 20, 2015

The 1885 edition of Moses King’s guide book, Mount Auburn Cemetery, notes that “on the left of Central Avenue, is a beautifully embellished octagonal building, with a stone platform and seats for visitors [containing] an excellent well of pure water.”  Designed by Theodore Voelckers and constructed in 1852 at a cost of about $3,000, the Well House provided a place of refreshment for Mount Auburn’s visitors for nearly half a century.  Originally located on the site of the present Administration building, it was removed to the southern gate in 1896.  There, “surrounded by shrubbery and covered with vines,” it stood, presumably, until replaced by the new Rest House.


In June of 2015 while excavation around the Administration Building’s west side was in progress to add waterproofing to the foundation, the original well was discovered.  It was capped and built over during the 1896 construction of the building and remains intact.

Brick Well unearthed in 2015

Brick Well unearthed in 2015

About the Author: Jessica Bussmann

Education & Volunteer Coordinator

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