Archive for May 27th, 2011


My stepmother was kind enough to lend me a 1995 Walking Tour of Harrisburg Cemetery when I was home visiting/vacationing. It was published as part of the cemetery’s 150th anniversary celebration. The cemetery was created in 1845 by the state legislature. Harrisburg Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places. With its location within the state capital city, it is the final resting place for notable state politicians. In addition to the famous people who were originally buried at Harrisburg Cemetery, the burial ground is a re-interment site for many of those originally buried in local churchyards.

Jacobs Haldeman

The tour is actually pretty good. The problem with a general cemetery tour is walking the line between indulging your pet passions by over-representing them on the tour and trying to include everything and being overwhelming. The tour has a nice mixture of monuments of historical significance along with those that are artistically interesting. It’s also helped a bit by the appendices – the narrative tour is annotated with a list of famous people sorted by the field for which they are known, a glossary of funerary symbols, and a listing of the people in the cemetery for whom streets are named. The writing style can be a bit awkward, particularly when read aloud. (That was our way of dealing with having one booklet and four people.) The directions can be a little head-scratching, too, but I have to chalk some of that up to the fact that it is rather difficult to give directions in a place where stones are scattered haphazardly.


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