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CITY OF BOSTON.
TO THE HONORABLE CITY COUNCIL :
The Trustees of Mount Hope Cemetery herewith respectfully submit their Fourteenth Annual Report:
The trustees are gratified in being able to state, that at no period since the cemetery became the property of the city has it presented a more encouraging aspect, or better deserved the sympathy and support of the community.
To those who remember the cemetery at the time of its purchase, and are able to appreciate the nature and amount of the work necessary to be performed before it could be brought into its present condition, the change that has been wrought cannot seem otherwise than surprising. Not only has it been compelled to struggle, with formidable intrinsic difficulties, but it has had to encounter the strong prejudices of those who were pre-possessed in favor of the older cemeteries, which had, in a measure, pre-occupied the field. These obstructions to its growth and prosperity, however, have been gradually removed until the Mount Hope Cemetery of to-day ranks among the most favored of its sister cemeteries.
The schedule of the expenses of the past year, annexed to this report, shows that the amount expended during that period exceeds somewhat that of each of the few preceding years. This excess, the trustees deem it proper to say, grew out of a rigid necessity that had existed for some years. The demand for a new office, and a new greenhouse, to be located near the entrance of the grounds, had frequently
been under consideration by the trustees, as the old ones had long since been inadequate for the needs of the cemetery. Other matters, however, of greater immediate importance, had demanded more of their attention, and all the resources at their disposal. It was not until the past year that the way seemed clear for them to make the long-desired improvement. Accordingly an extra appropriation was asked from, and generously granted by, your honorable bodies. The buildings were forthwith erected and properly fitted up, and now prove not only an indispensable convenience, but a decided attraction to the grounds.
The following 'description of these improvements is given by the "Evening Traveller”:
" At the left of the main entrance, a very tasty house has been erected, about forty feet square. The front room is fitted up as the superintendent's general office; at the side is a smaller private office, and farther back is a waiting-room and chapel. There are also dressing-rooms for ladies and gentlemen on this floor. The rooms are substantially finished in ash and walnut. The vestibule is formed by a bell-tower, containing a bell weighing seven hundred and fifty pounds. On the front and sides of this story is a pretty veranda. Above is a French roof, which is unfinished within. The building is well beated by a furnace.
"Across a broad area in the rear is a neat shed, with sliding doors, and (covered on all sides and floored) where the carriages of visitors may be housed. The extreme end is used for a potting-room for plants, etc. Beneath is the furnace room for heating the conservatories with hot water. The hothouses are two in number, and are attached to the rear of the shed. The first one, which has a single lean-to glass roof, is twenty by eighty-five feet. The next one (communicating with the first) has a pitched roof, and is fourteen by ninety feet. These combine every convenience of arrangement, and are filled with a very large and splendid variety of plants
suitable for decorating the lots. Outside are very many hotbeds, used for hardening the plants before exposing them to the open air. By the side of the chapel is a picturesque little well-house, supplying the purest and best of water."
The trustees have no hesitation in saying that the expenditurę for these objects was a wise one, and that the improvements, when seen, will commend themselves to the hearty approval of the City Council.
The trustees are gratified in being able to report an increase of the receipts during the past year. The amount received for lots was $3,500 in excess of the sum received for lots in the preceding year. An examination of the schedule will show an equally gratifying increase in the receipts for graves, digging, care of lots, sale of flowers, etc.
In addition to the usual care of the grounds, the following work has been done during the year ending April 30 :
Highland avenue has been extended seventy, and Elmwood avenue eighty-five feet. Forest avenue has also been extended from Oakland to Webster avenue, a distance of one hundred and ten feet.
The Odd Fellows' lot has been enlarged by the addition of about three thousand four hundred superficial feet, bordering on Highland avenue.
A lot, containing thirteen hundred and twenty superficial feet, has been graded and purchased by Post 7 of the Grand Army of the Republic.
To meet the demand for single graves, Maple Grove has been enlarged. This portion of the cemetery is an important one, and meets the wants of those of moderate means.
The City Cemetery has also been enlarged by the addition of twenty-two thousand square feet on the north side of Central avenue. The preparation of this ground bas involved a considerable but unavoidable expense.
About nine thousand three huudred square feet of avenue and driveway, surrounding the greenhouse and office,