SnakCemeteries & Gravestones

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Redigeret: jan 2, 2007, 1:15pm

Welcome to the new Cemeteries & Gravestones group. I've added links on the group's main page to the three principal Library of Congress Subject Headings that relate to cemeteries and gravestones. That's an easy way to browse around and see what other thingamabrarians have in their collections.

jan 2, 2007, 2:52pm

What a great group idea! It'll be nice to talk to people who don't think it odd that I go to cemeteries with a camera or take side trips to see favorites. I've been looking at those LoC links and it could get expensive. ;)

jan 2, 2007, 3:17pm

While visiting the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. one weekend, I got up early Sunday morning and drove from my motel over to nearby Rockville, MD to pay a solo visit to the gravesite of F. Scott Fitzgerald. To my surprise, his wife and daughter are also buried there. Someone had even left some flowers on the graves.

I also visited the burial site of Thomas Wolfe and his family in Asheville, NC. I never thought I was being morbid, just paying my respects to writers I deeply admired.

jan 2, 2007, 3:27pm

As one interested in family history I've spent quite a bit of time nosing around churchyards here in UK. What often sticks in my mind though is a visit about 10 years ago to La Recoleta in Buenos Aires and the tomb of Eva Peron. Her family tomb was fairly private but elsewhere in the cemetery lots of coffins on view. A little macabre for those of us who are used to coffins being invisible under the earth.

Redigeret: jan 2, 2007, 4:10pm

I can highly recommend the cemetery series "Permanent ..." by Judi Culbertson.
As for Evita @ La Recoleta, my then-partner and I went there on a winter afternoon, just as they were closing. Very scary experience - I kept expecting a pack of hellhounds to whip around the corner at any moment.

jan 5, 2007, 10:48am

I recommend two books by David Robinson. The first has color photography and is called Beautiful Death : The Art of the Cemetery (Dean Koontz did the forward, but is most certainly NOT the author as shown in the Touchstone), but Robinson's second book is smaller and the photos are all black and white, but it remains one of my all-time favorite books. Oh, yes, the title: Saving Graces: Images of Women European Cemeteries.

Most of the photos are from the great cemetaries of Europe (mostly France, where folks like Rodin were busy carving some of these works of art).

Nice group! Thanks for setting it up.


"In the end, only kindness matters."

jan 5, 2007, 10:51am

So, here's a question: why do we love cemetaries so much, huh?


"In the end, only kindness matters."

Redigeret: jan 5, 2007, 11:21am

Luckily I live in New England and can indulge my love for old cemeteries. There was one near my house as a girl and it was hard to get to so I used to go there to find a quiet place where no one (read adults) could find or bother me. That was the genesis. My mom lived right across the street from this same cemetery when she was a girl and she too enjoyed its peace and stillness.

I still regularly visit them with my camera and bring along Graven images; New England stonecarving and its symbols, 1650-1815 when I do.

One of my favorite cemeteries to visit is next to Park St. Church in Boston (on Tremont St.) because it features the grave of my favorite brewer and patriot - Samuel Adams. Also many of Benjamin Franklin's family are buried there. There is also a cemetery up high on a hill in Marblehead that has lovely views and interesting carvings.

Redigeret: jan 5, 2007, 1:51pm

The Granary Burying Ground is pretty much the antithesis of peace and stillness, though, isn't it? With tourists snapping photos next to Paul Revere or John Hancock and tour guides pointing out Mother Goose.

(Edited to add link.)

jan 5, 2007, 1:48pm

I don't think that's the same graveyard...I don't recall the statue of Revere being there nor the Goose. Athough just across the street is the Common and the duck statues are fairly close.

But yes, there are tourists...not too many with cameras though and I always stop by there on Thanksgiving Day because that's when I'm in the neighborhood and it might be a quiet day for the cemetery.

Redigeret: jan 5, 2007, 3:26pm

The Granary is the burying ground that abuts Park Street Church; it's probably the most visited cemetery in Boston. The King's Chapel Burying Ground, Boston's first, is sort of diagonally down the street. There's also a somewhat later burying ground on Boston Common itself.

The Granary, King's Chapel, and Copp's Hill are all on the Freedom Trail, so they get a lot of tourist traffic. A more magical place, like a time capsule, is the Phipps Street Burying Ground in Charlestown. It's almost untouched from its original layout, so I understand.

Inscriptions and Records documents all of Boston's old cemeteries, though not, sadly, the verses on the stones.

jan 5, 2007, 3:19pm

Then that's the one I mean...never noticed the things you mentioned though. I guess next Thanksgiving I'll have to pay better attention. The view from the 7th floor isn't so hot. : )

13EffinghamParkLibrary Første besked:
jan 5, 2007, 7:38pm

Thanks very much for the invite! I just logged on to LibraryThing to enter a new title. I'll give you one guess what it's about. Yup, a cemetery! MAPLE GROVE CEMETERY (which is in Queens, NYC) by Nancy Cataldi and Carl Ballenas (Arcadia, 2006).

jan 5, 2007, 11:40pm

Where is the oldest cemetery in New York City? Funny you should ask....

Although the City's oldest extant carved gravestone (for Richard Churcher, who died in 1681) is in Manhattan's Trinity Churchyard, its oldest surviving cemetery is in Brooklyn. The Old Gravesend Cemetery, on the south side of Gravesend Neck Road between McDonald Avenue and Van Sicklen Street, was established by 1650.

The town of Gravesend, one of six originally comprising Kings County (Brooklyn), was settled in 1643 by religious dissenters who fled intolerant Massachusetts for the more hospitable climate of New Netherlands. They were led by an Englishwoman, Lady Deborah Moody (1586-1659?), who planned the community around a square bisected into quadrants by the crossroads of present-day Gravesend Neck Road and McDonald Avenue. Houses surrounded the central space of each quadrant, and the farmers herded their livestock into these common pastures come nightfall. The central portion of the southwestern quadrant, however, was reserved for use as a burial ground.

Through early bequests and later appropriations of land, the cemetery grew to its ultimate size of 1.6 acres. It remained active over the next 250 years, but fell into gradual disuse by the 20th century as Gravesenders turned to fashionable Green-Wood to bury their dead. Neglect set in, and despite a WPA sponsored fencing and restoration in 1935, continued unchecked until the early 1970s. Many gravestones were lost to severe vandalism in 1972, and today, none survive that predate the 18th century. The Gravesend Historical Society initiated an extensive clean-up, and through its persistence secured landmark status for the cemetery in 1976. A new iron fence enclosing the grounds was dedicated on 18 July 2002.

Gravestone carvers represented include the prolific John Zuricher (fl. 1740-84), and the elusive Thomas Brown (fl. 1764-94), called "the pencil sketch man" because of his delicately sculpted winged soul effigies. The two stones by Brown are inscribed in Dutch, a language that early found its way to English Gravesend. At least four Revolutionary War veterans are buried in the cemetery; theirs and other surviving markers offer a catalog of names familiar from the street signs they grace throughout Brooklyn: Lake, Stryker, Hubbard, Ryder, Gerritsen, Wyckoff, Bergen, Stillwell, Voorhies and Van Sicklen. The Van Sicklens maintained a separately fenced plot in the northwest corner of the cemetery. Sadly, the location of Lady Moody's grave is lost.

Incidentally, the morbid-sounding name "Gravesend" has nothing to do with burials: either Lady Moody named the place after Gravesend, England (which derives its name from words meaning "at the end of the grove"), or Willem Kieft, Director-General of New Netherlands at the time the town was founded, suggested it be called s'Gravensande, which translates from the Dutch as "count's beach."

Short description I wrote for www.nyhistory.org

maj 7, 2007, 7:49pm

I have Gravesend connections myself from the 1700's (Stillwell/Buys).

Redigeret: jan 1, 2008, 7:59pm

>14 EffinghamParkLibrary:

Thanks for bringing up the question of the oldest cemetery in New York. I had wondered if it might have been one of the tiny Sephardic cemeteries that dot the city, so your posting sent me off happily a-Googling to refresh my memory. I used to live in NYC in 1979, and I was always surprised how many of these small graveyards have survived.

Here are some webpages related to this topic:

Cemeteries of Congregation Shearith Israel - The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. "Shearith Israel was the only Jewish congregation in New York City from 1654 until 1825..."

The First Cemetery of Shearith Israel (1656-1833).

Hidden small cemeteries of New York (for general information on these and other tiny "hidden" cemeteries).

(edited for typo)

feb 26, 2009, 6:04am

Hello all,

as pretty new on Librarything, i just encounterd this particular group.

My interests in graveyards and -stones are twosided.
Once i do like to go onto these places (quiet, peacefull, "interesting" ways of peoples last living place, sometimes strange epitaphs,...) and second as my profession is dealing with Tribal Arts i often come across gravemarkers or other types of sculptures related to the deceasesd/ancestors.

I particularly like our local evangelic graveyard in Graz/Austria because of its surrounding by nature and the big cemetery island in Venice/Italy.

Otherwise i do like a lot the muslim gravemarkers coming from the southern Philippines (southern Mindanao and Sulu archipelago) which have very exiting and interesting forms.

Is there a place where member do upload pictures ? I dont know wheter if this is possible around Librarything - otherwise it might be an idea to open a Flickr account (for example) to share pictures ?!
I do have an account there (professional therefore unlimited space which could be arrangend to host something like this).

glad to meet you all

feb 26, 2009, 7:29am

duffy_duck (#17) I take quite a few pictures of grave markers and one or two are uploaded to Flickr. But I haven't come across any specific group dedicated to the topic although knowing how many special interest groups are present on Flickr it's not unlikely. Three of mine are here:

feb 26, 2009, 8:04am

I think Flickr is your best bet. I have some from a gold mining ghost town in Nevada that I've been meaning to post. One of the most moving cemeteries I've experienced. Many graves didn't have markers and most of the ones that did had the writing scrubbed away by the wind.

feb 27, 2009, 7:39am

so eventually it would be an idea to open a group or so on flickr...

my gravermarkers are stored in my Southeast Asian file - in case you are interested to see something completely different in shape for epithaphs.


feb 27, 2009, 9:02am

Oh that would be cool. I have some from a HUGE pet cemetery in Methuen, MA as well as tons of others. some from a tiny churchyard in Woodstock, England.

feb 27, 2009, 2:56pm

i actually wanted to open a new group, but after putting "cemeteries" into the searchfield on flickr groups - you´ll find quiet a lot...

for example this one where i just registered.