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stone and dust

travel, photography and musings on cemeteries, memorials, and other dark sites

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September 2018

Site 147: Toronto’s BCPV Cemetery

Back when I was getting my Masters in History, I had to visit Black Creek Pioneer Village (BCPV) for one of my classes (the same class I wrote my cemetery paper for).  After that first visit I completely fell in love with it and hoped that I would one day work Continue reading “Site 147: Toronto’s BCPV Cemetery”

Site 145: Toronto’s St. James’ Cemetery

Only a few blocks from the Necropolis Cemetery, Toronto’s St. James’ Cemetery is its slightly larger and more prestigious brother. It in fact echoes the same aesthetic as Necropolis, with its numerous obelisks and grounded slab headstones. Continue reading “Site 145: Toronto’s St. James’ Cemetery”

Site 144: Toronto’s Necropolis Cemetery

Back in 1996, I was taking a class in Public Memory as part of my History Masters, and for my major research paper I decided to focus on 19th-century Toronto cemeteries, namely Necropolis, St. James, and Mount Pleasant. In retrospect I imagine my Continue reading “Site 144: Toronto’s Necropolis Cemetery”

Site 143: 9/11 Memorials

I was living in Japan when the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened. I was already in bed when I got a couple of texts from my friends – something about the WTC in NYC – I was sleepy and wasn’t sure what they were getting on about; it wasn’t until I went to Continue reading “Site 143: 9/11 Memorials”

Site 141: The Bronx’s Woodlawn Cemetery

When one thinks of grand New York city cemeteries, the first that will come to mind is Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. It’s definitely the most famous and well-known, not just to taphophiles and the writers of “best of” cemetery lists, but to the local Continue reading “Site 141: The Bronx’s Woodlawn Cemetery”

Site 140: Jersey City’s Harsimus Cemetery

Many years ago when I did my first Masters (in History) I wrote a major paper on Toronto cemeteries. As part of my research, I read a lot about the rural/garden cemetery movement in both Europe and the U.S., which had multiple intended purposes – Continue reading “Site 140: Jersey City’s Harsimus Cemetery”

Sites 138 and 139: Sleepy Hollow Cemeteries

I woke up this morning to dull, grey skies, and I think that’s what I can expect for the rest of my time in New York. Yesterday’s scorching hot sunny day was probably the last I’ll see in a while. I had hoped to get up early and visit at least one cemetery in the Continue reading “Sites 138 and 139: Sleepy Hollow Cemeteries”

Site 137: Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery

If you love monumental cemeteries as I do, this is definitely one for the bucket list. It ticks off the boxes for so many different types of cemetery explorers: those who love grand structures, statues, the graves of famous people, beautiful landscape design, etc. Continue reading “Site 137: Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery”

Site 135: Boston’s Granary Burying Ground

The third cemetery I visited on the Freedom Trail was also the third one built in Boston. This one was quite famous – it had open-top tour buses stopping outside with a tour guide explaining who was buried within (nobody got off the bus to actually come Continue reading “Site 135: Boston’s Granary Burying Ground”

Site 134: Boston’s King’s Chapel Burying Ground

A few blocks south of Copp’s Hill Burying Ground lies another cemetery on the Freedom Trail, the King’s Chapel Burying Ground. This was the first cemetery established in the city of Boston and it dates back to 1630.  Nearly five decades later, King’s Chapel Continue reading “Site 134: Boston’s King’s Chapel Burying Ground”

Site 133: Boston’s Copp’s Hill Cemetery

Any visitor to Boston will quickly learn about the Freedom Trail, a path you can follow through the centre of Boston that connects various sites related to Boston’s involvement in the Revolution and the subsequent founding of the United States. There Continue reading “Site 133: Boston’s Copp’s Hill Cemetery”

Site 132: Cambridge’s Old Burial Ground

At the corner of Harvard Square, a quiet green area lies oblivious to the thousands of students and other passersby making their way to classes and job interviews in the streets beyond.  This is Cambridge’s Old Burial Ground, established in 1635 just Continue reading “Site 132: Cambridge’s Old Burial Ground”

Site 131: Boston’s Mount Auburn Cemetery

Mount Auburn, located not too far from Harvard University, has the distinction of being the first rural cemetery created in the United States. Like Europe in the early 19th century, increasing urbanization in the US meant the need for larger cemeteries Continue reading “Site 131: Boston’s Mount Auburn Cemetery”

Site 130: Salem’s Howard Street Cemetery

Salem’s Howard Street Cemetery doesn’t seem to get the same love as the Old Burying Point, despite the fact that it has a much darker history. The current location was probably just a field next to the old Salem dungeon during the witch trial hysteria, Continue reading “Site 130: Salem’s Howard Street Cemetery”

Site 129: Salem’s The Old Point Burying Cemetery

Salem, a town synonymous with witches, has completely leaned into its own mythology. That has both its benefits and disadvantages: on the one hand, the town has had to come to terms with what is, in fact, a dark stain on its past: the Salem witch trials. On the other Continue reading “Site 129: Salem’s The Old Point Burying Cemetery”

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