Cemeteries are often interesting, beautiful, and fun places to visit.
What?! Interesting, maybe, but beautiful and fun -- those spooky, creepy places full of dead people?
Yes! Cemeteries are not what you see in the scary movies or on TV around Halloween. They are not filled with ghosts, zombies, and voodoo. They are, however, filled with folklore, history, gorgeous art and design, and great stories. Some have lovely gardens or parks as their settings.
Beginning in 1831 with Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA, the garden cemetery became popular and served as a bit of country scenery within cities. In effect, they were the first parks. Today, they still function as a place to enjoy nature, take a walk or a bike ride, or sketch an amazing memorial or statue.
Of course, the large cemetery parks are few and in major cities. The typical cemetery, often in a pleasant setting of trees and shrubbery, is usually a "monumental" cemetery, meaning that it has vertical tombstones. These can be hard to maintain because of the difficulty in mowing around the headstones and the deterioration of the markers if there is no perpetual care. The different sizes and styles can appear to be an unattractive jumble.
There are "lawn" cemeteries where only small, flat markers are allowed across expanses of grass. While this style is popular with some people because of its simplicity and uniformity, these cemeteries are not of interest here. A small marker with only a name and birth/death dates does not tell a story. Uniformity does not allow for creative epitaphs or headstone designs or historical memorials or beautiful statues.
In other words, while lawn cemeteries are efficient, easy-care, and practical, they are also dull and do not contribute to the preservation of history and culture as other cemeteries do, even if monumental cemeteries are an eclectic mess in some eyes.
For more detail on cemetery types, management, and practice, go to https//en.wiipedia.org/wiki/Cemetery
There are many more photos to come on our pictorial pages.
Please send us your pictures so that we can add them in too. Submit them to:
We also have recommendations for related books, articles, and websites (see right).
Coming soon is a lesson plan for teaching creative writing, history, art, sociology, or folklore through a cemetery; it will be adaptable to virtually every age level.
Also coming soon is a set of instructions that you can print out for a scavenger hunt in a cemetery. Players will look for various symbols, types of tombstones, historical figures, statues, and the like. It's a fun way to engage children (or adults!) in a teachable moment.
We look forward to your comments and suggestions. Submit them to:
Watch us grow as we continue to add more material!
Copyright 2011-2017 CemeteryVists.com - Contact webmaster for information Steve