So we meet again! I specifically created this blog to show off this fine state of New Jersey, but every now and again, I do travel out of state and find amazing places. This is one of those places. Since I am a fan of themes, I have decided that any post I do of an out-of-state place/find, will be called a “Hall Pass.” Hall Passes generally are given every now and again when you are in school, so I feel it’s fitting, no?
Today, I present a portion of Laurel Hill Cemetery, nestled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The magnificent gatehouse was built in 1835, but the cemetery was officially founded in 1835. It is a garden cemetery, which means the grounds are park-like and uses its landscape as part of the attraction. On October 28th, 1977, it became a part of the National Register of Historic Places (happy early birthday!). It also became a National Historic Landmark in 1998. Laurel Hill is extremely rich in sculptures, monuments, obelisks, small and massive crypts, and tons of history. This massive cemetery is split up into 3 sections, but I believe I only visited one. There are many prominent people to the area buried here, as well as Civil War soldiers on both the north and south side, as well as Titanic passengers. As you walk through, there are pamphlets to take, including a map. I only took the “North Cell Phone Tour” brochure, which brings you to 15 different sites. Clearly, I am missing the Central and South Tours. One of the newest additions to the cemetery is the “Silent Sentry,” which was rededicated on May 25th, 2014. (See the picture below. Here’s a little info about it. Very fascinating! http://www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org/index.php?m=6 )
I visited with my friend on August 9th, which was the 6th Annual Car and Hearse Show, presented by the Mohnton Professional Car Club. I have never been to a hearse show, so I figured, why not? It was pretty cool to see how they have changed throughout the years and learn a little, just wish there were more to check out. I had no idea that ambulances also played a part as a hearse. You’ll see a few pictures of these below.
In summary: Go visit this cemetery. There’s a very small parking lot across the street, so I imagine it fills up quickly on nice days. There is a gift shop where you can purchase Christmas ornaments, shirts, books, postcards, etc. They also have a listing of upcoming events (which are constantly going on). I only wish I lived closer because some of the tours and events are during the week. They are pretty reasonably priced and vary from “Laurel Hill: The Hot Spots and Storied Plots,” to “Yoga in the Cemetery,” and my favorite that I want to attend, “Hotties of Laurel Hill: Dead, Gone & Extremely Handsome.” I absolutely love the fact that they know so much about those who are buried there and want to draw people in to check it out. Aside from today’s event, the next one is on the 9th- “Over My Dead Body: Murder Mystery in the Cemetery.” When you visit, wear your most comfortable shoes because there are a lot of hills and some steps.
P.S. They are always looking for volunteers, so if you live in the area, you would be crazy not to want to volunteer. Check out the website: http://www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org/index.php?flash=1
The bridge to cross over to the other parts of the cemetery.
Inside a crypt.