The Joseph Warren Project Story
Respectfully submitted with a great deal of pride by R.W. Robert Vartanian
It was a cold rainy day in late April of 2015 when R.W. Stan Gaw took it upon himself to locate the grave of M.W. Joseph Warren.   Bro. Gaw, being an analytical person, first inquired at the office of the Forest Hills Cemetery for help on his quest.  The office provided him a map of the Cemetery, and circled the area (B) denoting where Bro Warren was buried.  One hour later, Bro Gaw found the grave site, which was behind a 4 foot high pudding stone bolder, less than one half mile away from the offices!  After wiping off the moss on one of the head stones, he discovered Bro.Warren’s name.  Following this adventure, Bro Gaw brought this situation to the attention of M.W. Richard J. Stewart, past Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. He suggested we contact the District Deputy Grand Master for the 6th Masonic District.  Bro. Gaw explained to the District Deputy Grand Master how he discovered the grave, and admitted it was mostly luck that he even found it. He then suggested a cleanup of the site was in order, given the historical and Masonic importance of this brother.  A gravesite visit with R.W. Glenn Kubick District Deputy Grand Master for the 6th Masonic District took place, and he agreed that the gravesite could use some attention. We asked the cemetery to contact the family for their permission to proceed, which was subsequently granted.
As the core committee began to formulate our plans, we quickly progressed to thoughts of ways that we could better mark the gravesite.  The initial thoughts were of a bronze plaque, then a plaque on a granite monument, these gave way to the thought of an obelisk, as it would represent the structure on Bunker Hill where he had been slain.  We looked into size and costs of these alternatives, and all agreed that any structure should depict the stature and importance of Bro. Joseph Warren.  During this period of research, I came across the existence of three statues of M.W. Bro. Warren.  One is located at Bunker Hill, a second is in Warren Penn., and the third is owned by the City of Boston.  This third statue was built in 1904, and was dedicated in Warren Square, Roxbury Ma.  The statue stood on that site until 1968 when the city took it down for a reconfiguration of the area.  The plan called for the statue to be replaced where it previously stood, however the footprint of the area had been substantially reduced during the construction, and no longer would accommodate the return of the statue. This statue was placed in a storage facility in Franklin Park until its fortunate discovery by a Roxbury Latin School alumnus. This alumnus sought permission to move the statue to the Roxbury Latin School’s campus located in West Roxbury Ma., since Bro. Warren had attended and then taught at the School.  Permission was granted by the City of Boston, and thus the school rescued the Joseph Warren statue. The statue was in need of major repair by that time, and since its restoration by the School, the statue of this historic figure has been gracing the campus of The Roxbury Latin School since 1969. Several articles of late have been written stating that although the school has taken meticulous care of the statue, it should be moved to a more public place. The committee saw this as an opportunity to request that the statue to be moved to Joseph Warren’s final resting place in the Forest Hills Cemetery. The District Deputy Grand Master once again reached out to the cemetery for the family’s permission to pursue this idea. The family granted their permission for us to pursue the statue, and asked us to talk to the school directly. We did indeed reach out to The Roxbury Latin School to determine if this was possible, and after some time passed, we finally secured meetings with both The Roxbury Latin School and the City of Boston. 
Major supporters of the
statue honored
Sculptor left, R.W. Glenn Kubick right
Original Gravesite with pudding stone and overgrowth
We met with representatives of The Roxbury Latin School in the Grand Lodge building in Boston, and truly admired their compassion for Bro Warren. The meeting went very well, and it was at this point that we started to seriously consider commissioning the creation of our own statue, to be loosely fashioned after the 1904 version.  We then met with the City of Boston, who shortly after the meeting began, stated that their plan was to move the statue back to Roxbury.  This revelation solidified our desire to commission our own statue. We talked to several sculptors to create a statue, and selected a sculptor from Utah. The criteria we had established was to first ensure the statue was made in America with American Bronze. Although the original statue was created in France, we believed that since Bro. Warren was an American Hero, A Son of Liberty and a founding father of our country, that our statue would be created in America. We resolved to hold steadfast to this requirement, even though the cost would be far less were we to have it created overseas.  After negotiating with the sculptor, we were all ready to commission the project when we reached out to the family and the Cemetery for their formal permission, at this point we realized that there would be additional requirements that we had not anticipated.  These additional requirements would extend our time line for construction beyond what we had identified as our dedication day. We notified the Utah sculptor that the project was on hold, pending the resolution of the additional requirements. When we met with the cemetery, our idea was to scale back our project to a bronze plaque on the stone, and to reluctantly abandon the idea of a statue. The cemetery stated that they believed that the best option was still the statue, and that they were willing to partner with us on the project. One of the requirements was to select a local sculptor who would be able to visit the gravesite, and to create a statue that would be proportional when placed atop the puddingstone so that it would enhance the gravesite and not look at all out of place. We researched local sculptors and discovered Mr. Robert Shure of Skylight studios in Woburn, Massachusetts.
​​We selected Mr. Shure for the project, and later found out that he is both a very highly respected sculptor and that he has been involved with several other projects in the Forest Hills Cemetery.  This Sculptor was actually contacted by Wor. John Pedersen prior to our decision
selecting the Utah sculptor.  Because of this, Mr. Shure was very much aware of the project, and stated he could indeed meet our time requirement and stay within our budget!  So far, Mr. Shure has been incredible to work with.

Several lodges both within the 6 th Masonic District and outside of the District have supported this project, as have many individuals.  We sincerely thank each and every one of these sponsors. After much time has been invested and after the many twists and turns, finally a dedication date has been established – the morning of Saturday October 22, 2016. The Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, M.W. Harvey J. Waugh has accepted our invitation to preside over the dedication ceremony that morning, and we have started the planning of this phase of the project.  This has been a very interesting journey, and although it has been frustrating at times, once we first saw the clay version of the statue, the frustration quickly
subsided. We believe that the completion of this project and the statue itself represent an achievement worthy of such a man.