Posts Tagged ‘tour guide’


Both of the tours we went on this past weekend were very enjoyable and will feature in upcoming blog posts for months to come. Euclid’s walk in the morning was much more focused on the geography and history of the local area, led by historian Roy Larick. It was coordinated with the Euclid Historical Society and was followed by an open house at the Euclid Historical Museum. It was more of a coincidence that this tour coincided with Halloween – it was not holiday-themed.



East Cleveland Township Cemetery Foundation, on the other hand, explicitly tailored their tour to the holiday. They combed through the records of the cemetery to find residents who had arrived there by tragedy: suicide, murder, and, in one case, a fire.


Our tour guide led us through the cemetery by tiki-torch-light. There were also a few other lanterns and flashlights, but the light overall was very dim. (Hint: If you ever find yourself in this situation, shuffle your feet so that you bump into the sides of low monuments rather than trip on them.) Each stop on the tour was marked by a single tiki torch, and there was a fairly even distribution of marked and unmarked graves. The tour guide also stressed that the stories on this tour differed from any they had used before, and they had enough stories that they would be able to provide different tours for many years to come. This is great news for those who enjoy these kinds of tours.


I’m planning to do some more research on the actual stories covered in the tours and post about them at a later date, so please forgive the generic nature of this review. If you get an opportunity to take one of these tours in the future, I recommend it.

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I had a fabulous tour guide when I went to Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. (Unfortunately, all the photographs from this trip are currently lost. If I ever find the CD, I’ll use them for blog posts.) I cannot remember this man’s name. As he lead us around a small section of that massive Victorian garden cemetery, he stopped periodically at the monuments and asked “What was the family trying to tell you?” He would proceed to describe in loving detail the symbolism of every carving, the choice of every word, the grief and affection etched in stone. He articulated the families’ love and sorrow with such passion that he nearly brought me to tears more than once. He taught me that cemeteries honor the dead, but are also there for the living. The monuments chosen for the then-recently deceased reach out across time, beyond the lifetimes of their patrons and makers, and speak to those who will listen to what they have to say about the person (usually) buried nearby. Most of the messages are simple, some more detailed or unusual, but all contain a plea for remembrance. This guide honored that request and cherished it. By the time we met him, he had devoted years of his life to remembering those who had gone before him. He spoke of them like old friends, and he inspired me.

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