Monumental Secret

A celebrity cemetery for the smart set

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leepy Hollow Cemetery is the final resting place of such Concord luminaries as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Louisa May Alcott, who eventually succumbed to mercury poisoning she contracted as a Civil War nurse. The headstones tell their own story. Thoreau, for example, died at only 44, and Alcott outlived her father, Bronson, by just two days. One of the most interesting monuments, however, is “Mourning Victory” (above), sculpted by Lincoln Memorial designer Daniel Chester French to three men of the same Concord family killed during the Civil War and commissioned by their lone surviving brother.

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Part of the Underground Railroad, the 1720 house now used as a gallery for the Concord Art Association at 37 Lexington Rd. has a secret room to hide escaped slaves behind a panel on the first floor reached through a trap door in an upstairs bedroom. So well-designed was the chamber, it was not rediscovered until 1922.

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