Posts Tagged ‘tour’



This past weekend, we attended the 2nd Annual Halloween Night at the Cemetery at the East Cleveland Township Cemetery. Although the name might not make it completely clear, the event is a torchlit tour of the cemetery with stops for stories of individuals who are buried there. This year, they planned for the high turnout by having two tour groups at each time slot for a total of four tours. We visited 11 sites in the cemetery, with a mix of marked and unmarked graves, and there was only one brief story that was a repeat of the previous year’s tour. We were very lucky to have our tour lead by Nancy West, the author of To Dwell with Fellow Clay, a history of the cemetery and its residents. Before and after the tour, the restored chapel at the gate was open with baked goods, candy, and cider. Nancy stated they would have the tour again next year, and I will be there. I hope that in the future more of my readers will be able to make it out and support the great work the cemetery foundation is doing to take care of this historic cemetery.


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On October 22, 2011, East Cleveland Township Cemetery is holding their 2nd Annual Halloween Night at the Cemetery. This was a good tour last year, and they promised that they will have new stories so that people can attend multiple years in a row and always hear something they haven’t before. This is a link to their flyer. Hope to see some of you there!

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This Sunday, October 2, 2011, Woodland Cemetery Foundation is offering their Killer Cleveland Tour at 1 pm and 3 pm. This is a fundraiser to help with their efforts to repair and maintain this historic cemetery. Please see their website for more details.

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Woodland Cemetery Foundation has the details up for their 2011 Killer Cleveland Tours on October 2, 2011 (rain date October 9, 2011). You can go to their main site and then click through for details, including preregistration.

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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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Forest Lawn

Forest Lawn 4

Two weekends ago, we visited our friends Gina and Hex in Buffalo, and Gina arranged a tour on Sunday of Forest Lawn Cemetery with her friend M. It was of course cold and somewhat windy, but it was wonderful. I felt a little bad for M because leading us on a tour was like herding cats. Her tour group consisted of four adult geeks with slightly different interests and knowledge bases plus one very intellectually curious little boy in the form of Hex and Gina’s son. I know she only got us through about 1/3 of what she planned to show us. Someone would see something that interested him or her, and we would either ask “what’s that?” (if she was lucky), or be bounding off like gazelles before she could say a word.

Forest Lawn 3

Forest Lawn 5

Despite knowing that we only saw a fraction of the cemetery and her intended tour, it was still a great tour. Forest Lawn is positively beautiful. It’s another garden cemetery, just like Lake View or Spring Grove, designed like a park, including lakes and fountains. Forest Lawn is from the same generation of cemeteries as Spring Grove, founded in the 1840s, and is among the models that was used in designed Lake View (established 1869). It remains in use today, and will be the subject of both future posts and visits.

Forest Lawn 11

Forest Lawn pond

Forest Lawn 7

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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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Euclid Cemetery Walk

Sorry for the late notice, but I got information today while I was at work that there is a history walk in Euclid Cemetery tomorrow morning sponsored by the local Recreation Board. The cemetery is located at 20229 Concordia Drive and the walk is scheduled for 8:30-9:30 am, followed by a reception at the Euclid Historical Museum. I know it’s a little early on a weekend filled with parties, but I plan to attend. The flyer doesn’t say exactly where to meet, but since the cemetery road is supposed to be one way, starting at the top of the hill furthest from Euclid Avenue and winding down, that would be my guess. It’s not like the cemetery is large enough that you couldn’t see the tour from on top of that hill. The flyer also contains some tidbits of history and photographs of some of Euclid Cemetery’s residents. Hope to see some of you there!

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East Cleveland Township Cemetery will be having after-dark guided tours on October 30, 2010, at 7 pm and 8:30 pm. See their flyer for details.

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We went on a tour of Lake View Cemetery this weekend that was titled “Angels and Sculptures.” While some of what was covered was interesting, I have to warn anyone considering the tour that it is not precisely as advertised. The tour guide, whose name I cannot remember, works for the Cleveland Museum of Art and seemed to be extremely knowledgeable. Part of the problem was that she started out with background knowledge of architecture and art of the period of the Garfield monument to prepare us for the angels that we were going to see – for 45 minutes of a tour scheduled for two hours. I don’t think I would have minded if the information on artistic styles and movements had been provided in little bits as we were moving around the cemetery, but it was presented as a big long lecture while we craned our necks up to see what she was discussing on the Garfield monument.


There are four angels with the points of the compass on the ceiling of the Garfield monument, and at the one hour mark of the tour, they were the only angels we had seen. In total, we only visited 6 sites in two hours – the angels on the ceiling of the Garfield monument, 4 other sculpted angels, and the statues of the mourners I showed last Friday. (The mourners at the Peck monument are not angels, but I am willing to give that a pass since they are such cool statues.)


I don’t know how many additional angels I would have seen if I had followed the tour to its conclusion, because after 6 sites we had reached the end of the two hours. She did offer to continue the tour for anyone who wanted to continue, but she hadn’t shown me any sculptures I couldn’t have found or understood on my own, so we peeled off from the tour and did some exploring of our own.


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