THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD: WRITERS, EDITORS and PUBLISHERS of LAUREL HILL

Louis Godey was America’s first true “media mogul.” His editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, lobbied Abraham Lincoln until he finally acquiesced and made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Historian and author Henry Charles Lea knew better than the Monty Python Troupe why nobody ever expects the Spanish Inquisition. The Elversons changed the face of the city using nothing but newsprint and a Sunday edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer. These stories are all part of the publishing history of Philadelphia. Joins us as we visit Laurel Hill’s writers, editors, and publishers whose influence is still felt; even from the grave.

 

This walking tour will take place on Saturday, May 2 at 1:00pm, departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

 

The cost is $12/person; or $10/students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance by phone (215) 228-8200 or online.

Guide: Pattye Stringer

 

 

 

CRYPTIC CRYPTS: EGYPTIAN SYMBOLISM at LAUREL HILL

Hades, Heaven, Valhalla, She’ol, Xibalba—religions, philosophies, mythologies, and cultures all have a name for it: The Afterlife. Humans have been trying to rationalize death since the beginning of time. Ritual and commemoration help the living come to terms with the passing of a loved one. Some of these rituals have survived for thousands of years and can be seen in subtle ways, thousands of miles away from their origination. The Ancient Egyptians were one of the first cultures to establish funerary rituals to help usher the deceased into the afterlife. Though proceeding cultures formed their own beliefs and practices, they sometimes adapted those from earlier religions and mythologies. Fast forward to America in the 1800s; Victorians experienced a resurgence in the popularity of funerary ritual along with a renewed interest in the classics. Walk through any cemetery founded in the 1800s and on monuments and mausolea you may be able to recognize Greek, Roman, and Egyptian influences.

 

On this walking tour through Laurel Hill’s historic tombs, discover ancient symbols and architectural styles that have survived since the time of the pharaohs. Along the way, meet the individuals who revered such symbols enough to eternally memorialize them: like a former defamed Egyptologist, the founder of the Penn Museum of Archaeology, and even Indiana Jones. Afterward, sip on the drink of the Gods and enjoy Mediterranean-inspired fare in the Cemetery’s historic Gatehouse.

 

The walking tour will take place on Thursday, May 7 at 6:00pm, departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

 

The cost is $20/person. Tickets can be purchased at the door, in advance by phone (215) 228-8200, or online.

 

Guide: Beth Savastana  

 

 

 

YOGA in the CEMETERY 

 
Find inner tranquility and balance during a one-hour yoga session in the peaceful backdrop of Laurel Hill Cemetery, overlooking the Schuylkill River. Sessions will be led by experienced yoga instructor, Emily Golomb. Emily teaches an all-levels Hatha class that enhances alignment, strength and balance. Students are encouraged to form a deeper connection with their minds and bodies throughout the meditative practice. Emily has been practicing yoga for over ten years, is a 200 RYT certified instructor, and currently teaches at Studio 1831 in Fairmount. Yoga in the Cemetery will conclude with light refreshments. Please bring your own mat. All levels of experience are welcome. Yoga in the Cemetery sessions will occur twice a month, May through September.

 

The event will take place on Saturday, May 9 at 10:00am, departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

 

The cost is $20/person. Purchasing advance tickets is suggested. Tickets can be purchased at the door, by phone (215) 228-8200, or online.

 

Instructor: Emily Golomb 

 

 

 

LAUREL HILL: THE HOT SPOTS and STORIED PLOTS

In life and in death, we all have stories to tell and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? Join Laurel Hill Cemetery for an informative overview of Laurel Hill’s long and colorful history, which will include many of the marble masterpieces, stunning views and legendary stories that afford the cemetery its WOW factor. This is the perfect tour for first-time visitors to Laurel Hill, and anyone else who enjoys beautiful art, scenic nature and fascinating history. “The Hot Spots and Storied Plots” will be presented on fourth Fridays, January through November; and second Saturdays, May through October.

 

The walking tour will take place on Saturday, May 9 at 11:00am, departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

 

The cost is $8/person general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance by phone (215) 228-8200 or online.

 

Guide: Nancy Wright 

 

 

 

LUNAR STROLL: PHOTOGRAPHING LAUREL HILL AFTER HOURS

Photo enthusiasts: grab your cameras, tripods and flashlights, and capture the ethereal wonders of Laurel Hill Cemetery after the sun goes down. During this guided stroll through the site’s picturesque landscape, participants will visit some of its most photogenic spots and evocative statuary while learning to paint with light using only a flashlight and ambient iridescence. You will be over the moon with excitement once you see your unique images! You will also have experiences to share from this rare and intimate exploration of the cemetery long after its gates close for the night. Photography experience is recommended. Lunar Strolls will occur on the third Friday of every month from May through August.

 

May’s lunar stroll will take place on Friday, May 15 at 8:00pm, departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

 

The cost is $20/person general admission. Advance reservations are required. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance by phone (215) 228-8200 or online

 

Guides: Emma Stern and Frank Rausch  

 

 

 

A GHOSTLY CIRCUS: FIRE ARTS PERFORMANCE in the CEMETERY

From the Anastenaria performed in villages in Northern Greece and Southern Bulgaria, to the Native American healing ceremony of the Sacred Fire, to Letuli Olo Misilagi and the Samoan Fire Knife dance; the addition of fire to performances and ceremonies has been a part of many different cultures for centuries. Fire dancing became popular in the United States in the mid-nineties and now this unique art form is coming to Laurel Hill Cemetery.

 

On Saturday, May 16th the Cemetery will partner with 7textures, a local creative styling and event planning group, to bring the ghostly circus to life. Somewhere between the clouds, the tombs, and Dante’s rings, the artists will find their stage evoking and encompassing the spirit of Laurel Hill with a dance on fire and in the air. This unique, other-worldly show will include fire dancing, aerial performers, theatrical sideshow, and a Dance with the Dead After-Party. Bring your own blankets or beach chairs, snack, and/or beverages and enjoy a picnic under the stars.

 

The event will take place on Saturday, May 16th at 8:00pm sharp (with a prescheduled rain date of Sunday, May 17th at 8:00pm). Gates open to the public at 7pm. Check-in is at Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

 

The cost is $20/person general admission. Advance reservations are requested. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance by phone (215) 228-8200 or online.

 

Presented by7Textures 

 

 

 


1865: UNION PRESERVED with a NEW BIRTH of FREEDOM (Veteran Flag Placement followed by a 150th Anniversary Exhibit Tour)

In 2011, states, cities and institutions across the U.S., and including Laurel Hill Cemetery, marked the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Many of those men engaged in battle, fighting on the sides of both the Union and Confederacy, rest at Laurel Hill. The site also holds sacred the remains of many prominent Civil War-era Philadelphians, including volunteer nurses, surgeons, and supporters of the war effort.

 

Laurel Hill continues its commemorative Sesquicentennial Exhibition highlighting military figures and citizens whose contributions to the war and war effort epitomize the stories of the peoples who lived during and through this stirring era in our nation’s history. The final year of the exhibit concludes in 1865, and follows the stories of those who are remembered for the important roles they played in the critical last year of war.

 

The opening will include a historic walking tour of some of the notables included in the exhibit, the premiere of 1865: Lincoln’s Assassination and the End of the Civil War as well as a viewing of the exhibit’s artifacts. It will conclude with light refreshments. The program will be co-presented by Temple University professor, president of the General Meade Society and author of Philadelphia and the Civil War, Dr. Andy Waskie; and independent researcher, historian and cofounder of www.findagrave.com, Russ Dodge. It walking tour will take place on Sunday, May 17 at 1:00pm, departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

 

While admission to the exhibit opening and tour is FREE, advance registration is requested. RSVP by calling (215) 228-8200 or emailing us.

 

 

 

LAUREL HILL: THE HOT SPOTS and STORIED PLOTS

In life and in death, we all have stories to tell and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? Join Laurel Hill Cemetery for an informative overview of Laurel Hill’s long and colorful history, which will include many of the marble masterpieces, stunning views and legendary stories that afford the cemetery its WOW factor. This is the perfect tour for first-time visitors to Laurel Hill, and anyone else who enjoys beautiful art, scenic nature and fascinating history. “The Hot Spots and Storied Plots” will be presented on fourth Fridays, January through November; and second Saturdays, May through October. 

 

The walking tour will take place on Friday, May 22 at 10:00am, departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

 

The cost is $8/person general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance by phone (215) 228-8200 or online.

 

Guide: Steve Chawaga

 

  

 

MEMORIAL DAY PARADE, SERVICE and RECEPTION 

The traditional Decoration Day service of the Grand Army Meade Post #1 will be recreated at historic Laurel Hill Cemetery, the site of the first Memorial Day Observance in Philadelphia in 1868. The entourage will gather at the resting place of General George Gordon Meade, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg, to perform the traditional service honoring all veterans who fell defending the nation. A wreath-laying, speeches and honor guards will enhance the ceremony. The event is co-sponsored by the General Meade Society of Philadelphia, the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery, American Legion Post #405, Post #1 Society, Union League, and Anna M. Ross Camp #1, Sons of Union Veterans. Complimentary beer and refreshments will be served after the service.


The event will take place on Sunday, May 24 at 12pm sharp. Visitors can enter through Laurel Hill’s Gatehouse at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

 

Admission to the event is FREE and open to the public; a $10 donation in support of Laurel Hill Cemetery’s work and preservation is suggested and would be much appreciated. For additional information, phone (215) 228-8200 or email us.

 



YOGA in the CEMETERY 

Find inner tranquility and balance during a one-hour yoga session in the peaceful backdrop of Laurel Hill Cemetery, overlooking the Schuylkill River. Sessions will be led by experienced yoga instructor, Emily Golomb. Emily teaches an all-levels Hatha class that enhances alignment, strength and balance. Students are encouraged to form a deeper connection with their minds and bodies throughout the meditative practice. Emily has been practicing yoga for over ten years, is a 200 RYT certified instructor, and currently teaches at Studio 1831 in Fairmount. Yoga in the Cemetery will conclude with light refreshments. Please bring your own mat. All levels of experience are welcome. Yoga in the Cemetery sessions will occur twice a month, May through September.

The event will take place on Wednesday, May 27 at 6:30pm, departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

The cost is $20/person. Purchasing advance tickets is suggested. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance by phone (215) 228-8200 or online.

 

The ART of LAUREL HILL CEMETERY

Presented in conjunction with the Violette de Mazia Foundation, this unique walking tour will explore the art and aesthetics of historic Laurel Hill. We will look beyond surnames, dates, history and symbolism, and focus instead on the designed landscape as an aesthetic statement. Along the way, we will examine the art found in the architecture of the original gatehouse entrance, as well as in the surrounding monuments and mausoleums.

The walking tour will take place on Sunday, May 31 at 10:00am, departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse. 

The cost is $15/person general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance by phone (215) 228-8200 or online.